Mayfair Equity Partners has acquired a majority stake in Los Angeles-based Pixomondo, a visual effects and digital media company. The deal puts Pixomondo at a $65 million valuation. FTI Consulting, Latham & Watkins LLP and Harris Williams & Co advised Mayfair on the transaction while Houlihan Lokey and Greenberg Glusker did likewise for Pixomondo.
17 July 2018: Mayfair Equity Partners (“Mayfair”), the buyout and growth investor providing capital to dynamic businesses in the TMT and Consumer sectors, is pleased to announce that it has completed a majority investment in Pixomondo, a strongly diversified global Visual Effects (“VFX”) and Digital Media business. The deal, which values Pixomondo at $65m, will facilitate an acceleration of Pixomondo’s R&D in next generation machine learning, AI and its impact on smart pipelines. It will also enable Pixomondo to continue expanding its capacity to deliver cutting edge solutions for more complex and ambitious projects and partners.
Mayfair is partnering with Thilo Kuther, the founder of Pixomondo who will continue to lead the business in his role as CEO and Executive Producer.
Thilo founded Pixomondo in 2001 in Frankfurt, Germany. Since then the business has delivered considerable growth to become one of the largest global independent VFX companies. Today, Pixomondo has seven studios worldwide including Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Shanghai and Beijing, with a team of over 550 full time employees, producing innovative visual effects for a diversified range of clients in film, TV, theme parks and advertising.
The Pixomondo team has received industry wide recognition for the work it has developed, including numerous nominations and 17 major awards, including an Academy Award®, Emmy Awards, Visual Effects Society Awards, Cannes Lions, and Beijing Film Festival Awards. Pixomondo has worked on a variety of highprofile productions, including Hugo, the Fast and the Furious franchise, and the Star Trek franchise for clients that include Paramount Pictures, Sony, Universal Pictures and CBS. Pixomondo also received widespread acclaim for creating the dragons in the hugely successful HBO series, Game of Thrones.
In a rapidly converging digital marketplace, Pixomondo has also achieved significant success in creating experience design and expanded realities for installations such as the National Geographic Ocean Encounter in Times Square, New York as well as multiple theme park installations in the Middle East and China. Pixomondo continues to innovate through the use of real time engines, AR technology and AI programming to generate more efficient workflows and more immersive experiences.
The business has achieved rapid growth in recent years, doubling in size between 2014 and 2017. The investment from Mayfair comes at a time when the industry is undergoing dramatic growth. This is being driven by the increasing use of VFX in film making, the renaissance in TV production driven by the meteoric increase in spend by established and emerging platforms such as Netflix, Disney, Alibaba, and Amazon, and the growth in markets such as China, where Box Office revenues are growing at almost 30% p.a. As a result, the $5.4bn VFX services market is forecast to grow at a 13% p.a. over the next three years (FTI Consulting).
Pixomondo’s global studio network, cutting-edge technology and unparalleled creative talent leaves the business poised for further growth while continuing to provide world-class VFX solutions to clients.
Pixomondo is passionate about delivering the best ideas at the highest levels of quality on-time and onbudget, with the outstanding service expected from a world-class company. The partnership with Mayfair will support Pixomondo’s ambitious organic and inorganic expansion plans, building on the company’s strong industry position across North America, Europe and China.
Daniel Sasaki, Managing Partner at Mayfair Equity Partners said: “The VFX market has experienced strong growth in recent years and this is set to continue as film studios and Over-The-Top providers such as Amazon, Netflix and Apple increase their original content budgets. Against this backdrop, Pixomondo is uniquely positioned for growth by virtue of its global studio network, creative talent and client-centric philosophy. We are privileged to be partnering with Thilo and his world-class team who have played an instrumental role in transforming the quality of VFX content enjoyed by consumers around the world.”
Thilo Kuther, Founder, CEO and Executive Producer of Pixomondo commented: “I am delighted to partner with Mayfair for the next stage of the Pixomondo journey. We have so much to do to fulfil our potential. I am excited to have found a partner that is focused on supporting us by investing in our people and our technology enabling us to continue to deliver outstanding content for our clients.”
FTI Consulting, Latham & Watkins LLP and Harris Williams & Co were advisors to Mayfair. Houlihan Lokey and Greenberg Glusker were advisors to Pixomondo.
ABOUT MAYFAIR EQUITY PARTNERS
Mayfair Equity Partners is a buyout and growth capital investor providing capital to dynamic businesses in the TMT and Consumer sectors. Its primary focus is on building strong partnerships with exceptional management teams. Mayfair is an investor in Ovo Energy, a high-growth tech-enabled energy challenger brand, YO!, a multi-brand multi-channel sushi platform with operations across the UK, Canada and the US, SuperAwesome, a global high-growth digital marketing business whose technology platform enables brands and agencies to deliver kid-safe digital advertising to under-thirteen audiences, and GCI, one of the UK’s leading Converged ICT Service Providers. www.mayfairequity.com
Pixomondo is one of the largest independent international VFX studios, widely known for its award-winning work film, TV, theme parks and advertising. Headquartered in Los Angles, the company was founded in Frankfurt by CEO and Executive Producer, Thilo Kuther. Today, the company also has studios in Stuttgart, Toronto, Vancouver, Beijing and Shanghai.
With offices in three different continents, each office offers different specialties and capabilities. This not only allows clients to access the best local talent across the globe, but also provides an effective 24/7 partner with whom to collaborate, develop and produce stunning visual effects and innovative entertainment experiences. www.pixomondo.com