Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sony Selling Animation Unit?

As my late grandmother used to say: "Oh my..."

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 30 — Sony Pictures Entertainment is considering selling half of its fledgling animation studio, maker of the films “Surf’s Up” and “Open Season,” and even more of its thriving 15-year-old digital visual-effects company, which pioneered computer-generated imaging techniques in films like “Stuart Little,” “The Polar Express” and the “Spider-Man” movies.

Sony Pictures, a unit of the Sony Corporation, has hired the investment bank Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin to assess the value of the two divisions. An outright sale of both, which is possible, could bring around $500 million, according to people involved in the discussions.

I was aware from talking to to staffers down at SPA (Sony Pictures Animation) that things were not going 100% swimmingly. The two released pictures didn't soar into the stratosphere like the company was hoping.

Still in all, the scuttlebutt I've been hearing is that the unit would continue.

As far as Sony Pictures Imageworks goes, I've always wondered what kind of cash flow and profit margin the studio had. SPI is a pretty elaborate facility. And the visual effects industry is not known for its high markup.


Anonymous said...

We'll also throw in this six quart combination spaghetti pot and clam steamer! NOW how much would you pay?!

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