Digital Domain Media Group Inc., the bankrupt special-effects company behind the movies “Transformers” and “Titanic,” may see as many as six bidders at the auction that starts tomorrow, a company attorney said.
The company has received two deposits required to participate in the auction, expects to get two more today and has been contacted by others interested in bidding, attorney Robert J. Feinstein said today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. The opening bid of $15 million will be made by the so-called stalking horse, a unit of Searchlight Capital Partners LP.
“We expect a robust auction,” Feinstein said.
Digital Domain, with operations in Florida, California, Canada, India, China and Abu Dhabi, filed for bankruptcy last week with plans to hold an auction for most of its assets, including an investment in “Ender’s Game,” the science-fiction movie starring Harrison Ford that is scheduled to be released next year.
The company invested $17 million in the movie, which is based on the 1985 book by Orson Scott Card about gifted children who are trained to battle aliens. That investment may be Digital Domain’s most valuable asset, attorney Josef S. Athanas, who represents the company making “Ender’s Game,” said in court today.
Feinstein didn’t identify any of the bidders in court today.
One Digital Domain creditor, Technicolor Creative Services USA, Inc., may join the auction, Technicolor attorney G. Larry Engel said in court. OddLot Entertainment LLC, the company behind “Ender’s Game,” probably won’t bid for Digital Domain, although it hasn’t made a final decision, Athanas said.
Digital Domain blamed its bankruptcy on a cash crisis that hit less than a year after the company went public. The Port St. Lucie, Florida-based company, with 765 employees, said it also sought court protection in Canada.
The company, which counted former Miami Dolphins football star Dan Marino among its investors, had assets of $205 million and debt of $214 million as of June, according to Chapter 11 papers.
The case is In re Digital Domain Media Group Inc., 12-12568, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).