US tech giant Adobe is set to make a £200m bid for UK special effects firm The Foundry, it emerged yesterday.
The British firm, which boasts 20,000 clients including Pixar, Sony and Warner Bros, was put up for sale last year by private equity firm Carlyle. Its cutting edge effects programme, Nuke, has been used in several major blockbusters including Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy and the Twilight series.
Despite not being known for focusing on special effects, Adobe is said to be interested in acquiring the company because it believes the Nuke software could be applied to a wider range of applications. The specialist software effectively weaves together different layers of filming with CGI and green screen animation.
Adobe is also interested in a new programme released by The Foundry called Modo, a piece of concept design technology allowing designers to sketch products in 3D before manufacturing.
Founded in 1996 by Bruno Nicoletti, The Foundry was bought by Carlyle off rival private equity group Advent for £75m in 2011.
Carlyle attached a price tag of £175m to £200m for any sale of The Foundry, which currently employs 370 people in London, Manchester, Shanghai, Redwood City and Los Angeles.
In March the London Stock Exchange listed the Foundry among its 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain. Criteria for being included on the list were showing three consecutive years of revenue growth and significantly outperforming industry peers.