The merger will place The Hive - which turned over £3m last year - within VTR, creating a company with an estimated annual income of £11.2m. The combined company will operate under the name of VTR but The Hive will continue to specialise in computer graphics and animation, such as Busy Buses, Extinct and idents for the BBC, Top of the Pops and Milkshake. The Hive has combined its animation and compositing facilities with VTR, but it has retained its broadcast staff and facilities.
VTR has absorbed the computer graphics specialist to address the investment needs and demands of both VTR plc-owned companies. According to VTR plc managing director John Banks, VTR was in need of a 3D department and, due to its increasing success, The Hive could have
easily become a full-service
post house. He also said that the decision to bring the two companies together was not a cost-saving exercise. No redundancies have been made and additional experienced members of staff are actively being sought for appointment in the near future.
VTR managing director Ant Frend will remain at the helm. David Southwood, managing director of The Hive, will steer The Hive's CG operations on Maya, XSI and Lightwave.
Facilities manager Kate Sturgess said that many clients had been using both companies but would now be able to deal with 'one voice only', a situation that she felt is increasingly valued and demanded by producers.
Sturgess also said the company would be looking to expand onto another floor or location, which she described as a three-year project.
Further development and integration will happen from September, but Sturgess stressed that this would not mean job losses.
The merger took place following four months of consultation. VTR has 94 staff while a further 30 shared services staff are employed by VTR plc.