Carlyle takes majority stake in effects group

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US private equity giant Carlyle has bought a majority stake in The Foundry Visionmongers, the visual effects group whose software was used in Avatar, Tron: Legacy and The King's Speech.

Carlyle is to buy the stake from Advent and Falcon, which backed a management buyout of the group in 2009. Since then the headcount has tripled to more than 100. The Foundry's 4,000-strong client list includes some of the biggest special effects houses, including Industrial Light and Magic, Dreamworks, Double Negative and Framestore. The founders and management will retain a minority stake in the business following the deal.

The Foundry chief executive Bill Collis said: "Carlyle's financial strength, extensive network and track record in the management of software companies are great assets."

After the buyout, revenues at The Foundry rose from £6.1m in 2009 to £14.9m a year later. Carlyle said The Foundry would target further international expansion, more products and broadening the scope of the technology.