London-based post-production giant The Mill has been valued at £119m in a deal which sees Barclay Private Equity buying 60 per cent of the company from former majority owner private equity firm Carlyle.
Original founders Robin Shenfield (pictured) and Pat Joseph plus the management team retain a minority stake.
The Mill began in 1990 and its original backers included members of rock band U2. It was always planned to be bigger and better than its post-production rivals but struggled in the mid-to-late 1990s as big budget commercials went out of fashion.
But it diversified into films, providing many of the effects for Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, and has increased its business in the US to about 40 per cent of the total, claiming to have worked on 24 of the commercials in this year’s Super Bowl.
Carlyle bought The Mill from 3i in February 2007 for about £50m. Revenues have nearly doubled in the past four years, rising from £40m in 2007 to £74.2m in the year to December 2010. The Mill has 625 staff across offices in London, New York, Los Angeles and Singapore.