Digital Domain's stock has taken a wild ride since the company went public less than 10 months ago. On September 6, in the wake of weeks of rumors and speculation, CEO John Textor submitted his letter of resignation to DDMG's board of directors. In the letter (full text available here), Textor implies that his resignation was the result of a "profound disagreement" with the board over the closing of Digital Domain's recently launched, incentive-funded Port St. Lucie studio. In his statement, Textor blames the board for the closure, which he called an "unwise" decision, made "without compassion." Nearly 300 workers lost their jobs following the decision to shut down the Port St. Lucie facility, many of whom had only recently been hired.
Today, Digital Domain has concluded its oddessey into the NYSE by filing Chapter 11. According to DDMG, normal daily operations and contracts "will not be affected" by the filing. Searchlight Capital Partners has stepped in to purchase what's left of Digital Domain, for a reported $15 million. According to the Washington Post, DDMG's assets as of June 30 were $205 million - which seems quite a steal for Searchlight, until you consider the total of DDMG's liabilities: An estimated $214 million.
Ed Ulbrich, the CEO of Digital Domain as of September 7
"We are excited to begin this new chapter in our history and look forward to partnering with Searchlight,'' said Ed Ulbrich, the newly appointed CEO of Digital Domain. "The capital commitment of Searchlight will enable us to continue to bring our expertise to feature films, advertising, games, and other media experiences, with a focus on what we do best -- creating amazing digital productions."
Photo by Erik Charlton from Menlo Park, USA (Reality or simulation?) CC-BY-2.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons