VFX software developer The Foundry has been put up for sale by its private equity owner Carlyle Group.

Carlyle Group has appointed advisers Arma Partners to find new investors and the company could be sold for as much as £200m, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

Carlyle purchased a majority stake in London-headquartered The Foundry from Advent Venture partners in March 2011. At the time, it outlined a plan for international expansion, product diversification and broadening the application scope for VFX technologies.

Some eighteen months later The Foundry merged with fellow software developer Luxology.

Earlier this year, it launched Nuke Studio, a single application for VFX, editorial and finishing that builds on the company’s compositing tool Nuke. It has also ramped up efforts to move beyond VFX and sell more of its software to designers.

The Foundry president of the Americas Brad Peebler told users of the firm’s software that “when owned by private equity, the only certainty is that an ‘exit’ will happen. It’s the natural progression of the business relationship… every company has investors and those investors change from time to time”.