Investee Company – The Mill
Investee Company Country – UK
Investee Company Business Type – Provides digital visual effects to the entertainment and advertising industries
Type of Financing – Management Buyout
Equity Providers – 3i
Equity Leader (Individual) – Dan Adler and Chris Graham
Debt Providers – Royal Bank of Scotland
Debt Type – Senior debt
Debt Leader (Individual) – James Docherty
Equity Amount – £10 million
Total Deal Value – £24 million
Other Advisors – Ernst & Young
Comments – James Morris, Robin Shenfield and Pat Joseph, the team who originally founded The Mill in 1990, have acquired the group. 3i and The Royal Bank of Scotland have backed the management buyout, worth £24 million.
The Mill whose advertising clients include Levi’s, Pepsi, Guinness and Mercedes-Benz is based in Soho, London. British film directors Ridley Scott and Tony Scott, who became partners of the company in 1997 to launch a film visual effects division, will now also co-chair the board.
Services offered by divisions of The Mill, which include emill, Mill Models, Mill Motion Control and Mill Interactive Lab, range from model making and camera operation to web animation and visual effects.
The Mill has 200 full-time employees based in London, Los Angeles and at the Shepperton Studios. Last year the group’s annual turnover grew to £25million.
The group’s chief executive, Robin Shenfield, cited The Mill’s creative independence as a critical factor in its success so far.
James Morris, chairman, commented, “The relationship with 3i will position The Mill to become the leading world-wide producer of digital content for advertising across all existing, new media and broadband platforms.”
3i will also be the majority shareholder in the merger of Pinewood and Shepperton studios to create a globally competitive facility in the UK, valued at over £100 million.