Tuesday, September 11 16:25:30
Digital Domain Media Group, which won Academy Awards for visual effects in films including "Titanic," filed for bankruptcy protection today and said its production business would be sold.
The company, whose founders include "Titanic" director James Cameron, listed total debts of $214.9 million and total assets of $205.0 million in its Chapter 11 filing.
Digital Domain said it had agreed to sell its production business to private equity fund Searchlight Capital Partners for $15 million. The sale to Searchlight, which manages more than $860 million, is subject to potential other bids through a one-day auction on Sept. 21, as required by the bankruptcy code.
The bankruptcy is a black eye for Florida state and local officials who committed $135 million to subsidise the construction of a state-of-the-art studio in Port St. Lucie, which the company closed last week.
It was not immediately clear how much of the promised subsidies were paid, but the Associated Press reported on Monday that Governor Rick Scott had ordered a probe into the state incentives.
Digital Domain has worked on more than 90 major motion pictures, including "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," "Transformers," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Star Trek" and "X-Men: First Class".
The company also recently ventured into movie production by co-producing the movie version of the popular science fiction novel "Ender's Game," starring Harrison Ford, which is expected to be released next year. (C ) Reuters