Discreet is understood to have bought a significant part of the company - thought to include the compositor Cyborg and the sales database - for an undisclosed fee via its parent company, Autodesk. But the highly reputed 5D plug-ins (or Sparks) business has been sold to four members of the management team from 5D. The four directors have formed a company called Speedsix to realise the buyout. Stan Coltman, senior manager at Tenon Recovery, acknowledged the above but was prevented from commenting in detail due to contractual obligations.
Autodesk and Discreet have so far refused to say which specific parts of the company have been bought and therefore plans for its future, its name or the future of its products remain a mystery. One senior facility manager said: 'I really hope they don't shut it down - it would be very short-sighted to do so. It's great technology and would be a good fit for Discreet.'
The members of the 5D group, who have bought the plug-ins business, were unavailable for comment as Broadcastwent to press.
5D was forced into receivership in October this year after falling foul of the Inland Revenue over a large tax bill in relation to the sale of its printing business ( Broadcast, 16.10.02). When 5D sold Global Graphics for $24m (£15.4m) it was mostly paid in shares with just $3m (£1.9m) handed over in cash. Despite unloading some stock the collapse in world share prices left 5D with some not very valuable shares and a big tax demand, based on the share price when the deal went through.