After a see-saw auction that lasted most of two days and nights, a holding company connected to Prana Studios has agreed in principle to acquire bankrupt visual effects studio Rhythm & Hues.
Prana is a visual effects and animation studio with offices in Los Angeles and India. It was founded as an American company but does much of its animation production through an Indian subsidiary.
Prana appeared to be out of the auction Wednesday afternoon but re-entered the bidding following a continuance in the proceedings Thursday. Prana has solid relationships with the majors, as it does animation for studio features. Its credits include “Hoodwinked” for the Weinstein Co. and the upcoming “Planes” for Disney.
The auction turned out to be a difficult and drawn-out process. Early on in the process, Psyop and a Taiwanese bidder with ties to electronics manufacturer Foxconn could not or would not show proof of financing, and were eliminated. Three bidders remained: Prana, Prime Focus and Brave Vision, a Chinese company led by Jiang Yanming, a founder of vfx & post facility Technicolor Beijing, and co-founder, president and largest shareholder of China Lion.
Prana was the next to fall out, it seemed, and Prime Focus and China Lion continued the auction into the night. At around 10:00 p.m. Wednesday it appeared Jiang’s bid had won, but then the auction resumed and continued until 2:00 a.m. Thursday, then broke until late morning.