Prime Focus has sold its UK broadcast post production business to new company Blue 2.0.
The deal, which is expected to close in the next two weeks, will see Blue 2.0 will take over the Prime Focus UK Broadcast facility at 58 Old Compton Street in Soho along with its long-form, drama, short-form, entertainment and DI services.
Prime Focus is retaining its content services offering, which provides services to clients such as the BFI and Red Bee Media. These contracts will continue to be serviced by Prime Focus staff from the company’s facility at 2 Bourchier Street.
Following the sale, Prime Focus UK managing director Rowan Bray has left the company to “pursue new opportunities”.
Blue 2.0 is led by former Prime Focus UK VFX managing director Parvinder Bhatia.
The name of the venture is a nod to one of the companies which was merged to form Prime Focus’ UK post operation.
In 2006, India-based Prime Focus made its first foray into the UK post sector with the acquisition of the VTR Group, which included Blue. The VTR Group was later combined with The Hive Animation and Clear and rebranded Prime Focus UK.
Blue 2.0 managing director Parvinder Bhatia said the deal marked the return of the “iconic” Blue brand.
“Backed by a group of private equity investors, Blue 2.0 will offer broadcast clients a boutique post production offering with a focused approach and a personalised service,” Bhatia said.
Bhatia said he wanted the facility to be a “major new player in the broadcast post production space”, and that plans are underway to add more capacity and additional service offerings such as VFX.
Prime Focus Limited managing director Ramki Sankaranarayanan said the deal followed an “extensive” sale process.
He said: “We would like to thank all of our UK broadcast clients for their support over the years, and assure them that the phased transition of the business to the new owners has been constructed to be as seamless as possible.
“The divestment of this business allows us to concentrate our full efforts on our core creative services divisions, including Prime Focus World and Double Negative, and our cloud technology business Prime Focus Technologies in addition to the broad spectrum of media services business in India.
He added: “I would like to thank Rowan for her commitment and tireless hard work over the last four years.
“Her dedication to providing the highest levels of customer service has been greatly appreciated, and we wish her all the best with the new opportunities that she is considering.”
Earlier this month Broadcast revealed that Prime Focus had lined up a buyer for its UK post-production facility, which it described as a “drag” on the India-headquartered group’s overall financial results.
Prime Focus Limited employs 5,500 people across three divisions: Prime Focus World, which supplies 2D to 3D conversion, visual effects and animation services; Prime Focus Technologies which offers cloud-based asset management platforms; Prime Focus Group which provides post-production for broadcast, commercials and films and includes the London post operation.
In June, the company merged its Prime Focus World creative services division with London-based VFX giant Double Negative. Over the next 18-months it intends to capitalise on that deal by focussing its efforts on the bundled offering of VFX and 3D conversion services.