Client stories

Funding visual effects and animation provider DNEG for further growth

The positive power of storytelling

Founded in 1998 and headquartered in the UK, Double Negative Limited (“DNEG”) provides visual effects, animation and associated production services for film, television, augmented reality and virtual reality, among others. Operating from over twelve facilities across Europe, Canada, the US, India and Australia, DNEG delivers 24/7 production capabilities to its customers. These include some of the world’s leading content creators such as Disney (20th Century Studios and Disney+), Warner Media (HBO, HBO Max), Sony Pictures, Universal (Peacock), Paramount (Paramount+), Netflix, Apple, and Amazon Studios, among others.

DNEG’s top-down commitment to creativity and technological innovation has been recognised through a series of top industry awards, including seven Academy Awards® (Oscars®), seven BAFTA Awards, eighteen Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards, three Emmy Awards, and seven AIS Lumiere Awards. The company’s portfolio of past film projects include: Dune, the James Bond franchise, the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, the Venom franchise, the Harry Potter franchise, and the Fast & Furious franchise, in addition to marquee streaming and animation projects including ‘Entergalactic’, ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’, ‘Slumberland’, ‘1899’, ‘Stranger Things 4’, ‘Foundation’, and ‘The Gilded Age’, among others.

Refinancing helps DNEG extend its maturity profile and widen its liquidity pool

In September 2022, DNEG sought to refinance its existing bank facilities through a bank club syndication. After extensive discussions regarding market access, transaction structure and syndication strategy, the company appointed NatWest to support in the roles of Active Bookrunner, Facility Agent and Security Agent.

The transaction launch was met by strong interest from banks, leading to the Company upsizing the facilities to a $275 million Term Loan and a $85 million multicurrency Revolving Credit Facility (RCF), with a $40 million accordion. Post allocations, four new lenders joined the syndicate alongside the four incumbent banks. NatWest took the largest share in the facilities, reaffirming its position as a Tier-1 lender.

The new debt package enabled DNEG to achieve its objectives of extending the maturity profile of its indebtedness and increasing its access to liquidity. 

NatWest’s one-bank approach delivers best outcomes for customers

Vikas Rathee, Chief Financial Officer of DNEG commented: “This is an exciting period of growth for DNEG and we are well-positioned to capitalise on the continued high demand for our market-leading services. We are very pleased to have secured this funding package, which will fortify our ability to expand further, investing in new locations, new technology, and more capacity, giving us the resources to deliver on exciting projects for our clients. We thank NatWest for their consistent support and joined up approach across origination, syndicate and sales which really smoothed the process. The team has delivered a great outcome for DNEG.”

Richard Bradbury, Managing Director, Leveraged & Acquisition Finance, NatWest said: “This transaction continues our longstanding support of the DNEG team, and we were delighted to support them in securing a strong pool of liquidity. Gathering this demand from lenders in a tough market is a testament to DNEG and its management team, and we look forward to working together again in the future. This transaction is also an example of multiple specialist teams within NatWest working closely together as one bank to ensure quick decision making and deliver the best outcome for our customer.”

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article has been prepared by National Westminster Bank Plc (NatWest) for information purposes only and is subject to change from time to time. The information and views expressed should not be treated as advice or a recommendation of any kind. NatWest makes no representation, warranty, undertaking or assurance of any kind (express or implied) with respect to the adequacy, accuracy, completeness, or reasonableness of the information provided and disclaims all liability for any use you, your affiliates, connected companies, employees, or your advisers make of it. NatWest accepts no liability whatsoever for any direct, indirect, or consequential losses (in contract, tort or otherwise) arising from the use of this material or reliance on the information contained herein. However, this shall not restrict, exclude, or limit any duty or liability to any person under any applicable laws or regulations of any jurisdiction which may not be lawfully disclaimed.

 

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