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Digital Domain prepares to give IPO another shot

May 16, 2011 |  6:20 pm

The parent company of Venice visual effects house Digital Domain is going public.

Digital Domain Media Group Inc. said in a regulatory filing that it plans to raise up to $115 million in an initial public offering.

The company said it expects to use proceeds from the stock offering to pay down down and finance its operations, which include a feature animation division in Port St. Lucie, Fla. and the Venice visual effects studio, which is partly owned by director Michael Bay and is known for its effects work on such movies as "Thor," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and the "Transformers" films. 

Digital Domain also has a visual effects studio in Vancouver, Canada, and has been expanding its 3-D conversion business. Last year it acquired In-Three Inc. in Westlake Village and moved most workers to Florida.

The IPO is expected to be held this summer.

Digital Domain's previous effort to launch an IPO, in 2007, sputtered when the planned offering failed to gain much traction among investors.

But in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Digital Domain said its business was brisk in thanks to growing consumer demand for visual effects. At a time when many smaller visual effects companies in California have been struggling, Digital Domain saw its revenue from visual effects climb to $101.9 million last year -- up 70% from 2009, according to its filing.

Executives at Digital Domain declined to comment.

Another local entertainment company, the 3-D technology supplier RealD Inc. of Beverly Hills, held a successful IPO last summer, raising about $200 million.


Digital Dommain's effects plan fails to excite

Digital Domain buying In-Three 

Fade out for visual effects

Special effect: shares of 3-D firm RealD soar after IPO

-- Richard Verrier