UK special effects firm DNEG valued at $2bn after landmark fundraiser

London-based DNEG, renowned for its work on films like Dune: Part Two and Oppenheimer, has achieved a valuation exceeding $2 billion following a significant fundraising round backed by a leading Abu Dhabi investor.

The DNEG Group secured a $200 million investment from United Al Saqer Group, an Abu Dhabi-based conglomerate supported by a member of the emirate’s royal family. This funding marks a significant milestone for the British special effects company, which nearly went public on the London Stock Exchange in 2019 and again in New York in 2022 through a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger valued at $1.7 billion. Both attempts were abandoned due to unfavourable market conditions.

DNEG, a seven-time Academy Award winner for best visual effects, has a global presence with offices in the UK, India, the United States, and Canada. This recent investment highlights Abu Dhabi’s broader ambitions in the creative and entertainment industries. The emirate also played a role in the £1.1 billion acquisition of UK producer All3Media by RedBird IMI.

As part of the deal, DNEG will establish an office and a “visual experience hub” in Abu Dhabi, which is expected to create numerous job opportunities. Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development, stated, “This move reaffirms Abu Dhabi’s status as a prime destination for groundbreaking investments.”

DNEG plans to utilise the investment to diversify beyond its core special effects services. It aims to enhance its technology division, Brahma, which is developing AI-powered special effects tools, and to expand its production capabilities. This year, DNEG successfully co-produced *The Garfield Movie*, and its production arm, Prime Focus Studios, is working on several high-profile films including *The Angry Birds Movie 3*, *Animal Friends* starring Ryan Reynolds, and an adaptation of the Indian epic *Ramayana*.

Namit Malhotra, DNEG’s chairman and chief executive, commented, “This investment will accelerate our plans to further drive DNEG’s existing activities and enable the group to expand its offering, both in terms of the services we provide and the markets we operate in.”

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