Australian visual effects and production company Animal Logic has acquired the assets of Fuel VFX.

It ends Fuel VFX's near-death experience after the company, which has contributed visual effects work to a range of high-profile blockbusters, called in voluntary administrators Jirsch Sutherland on August 27 after suffering a cash crunch.

Animal Logic, which is based at Sydney's Entertainment Quarter, plans to continue running the company under the Fuel VFX brand (under a new company dubbed Animal Logic Fuel) at Fuel's current Newtown offices.

Animal Logic chief executive Zareh Nalbandian said there were synergies between the two companies.

"Highly regarded around the world for its advertising and film VFX work, it is a name with a great pedigree and a solid future," Nalbandian said in a statement. "We are committed to making sure that this great creative resource will not disappear from our Australian VFX landscape.”

The acquisition price was not disclosed. IF Magazine has contacted Animal Logic for further information about the approximate 80 Fuel VFX employees who were stood down when the administrators were apointed and the status of their entitlements.

The five original founders of Fuel VFX: Jason Bath, Paul Butterworth, Simon Maddison, Dave Morley, and Andrew Hellen, will remain part of the revamped Fuel business. General manager Andrew Hellen will lead the business.

While Animal Logic and Fuel VFX will continue to operate their own distinct film VFX divisions, Animal Logic's advertising and short form VFX post-production services will be merged under the Fuel umbrella in Newtown by the end of this year.

Fuel’s EP of film VFX, Jason Bath, said: “The ability for Animal Logic and Fuel to retain and grow their film VFX client relationships while being able to share proprietary knowledge and tools, and collaborate creatively with ease, is a strategic partnership that will enhance the operations of both companies.”

It is understood that Fuel VFX's cash flow problems were exacerbated when work on at least one major film project failed to materialise. The company has produced a number of VFX shots for major Hollywood films such as Prometheus and The Avengers, and has built a particularly close relationship with Marvel in recent years.

However, the ongoing high value of the Australian dollar has continued to drag down the local VFX sector's earnings.

The global VFX industry has also suffered a number of high-profile casualities including struggling VFX company Digital Domain, which is being acquired by Beijing Galloping Horse Film Co. and Reliance MediaWorks for more than $US30 million. 

Animal Logic has produced commercials for clients including Coca Cola, Telstra, and Toyota. Its film credits include Happy Feet and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole while its current slate includes The Great Gatsby, Walking With Dinosaurs 3D and LEGO: The Piece of Resistance.

Contact this reporter at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bcswift.

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  1. I’m not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, Fuel lives on, on the other Animal Logic is now running the show…

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