On November 9, 2021, Weta Digital and Unity Software (NYSE: U) announced the entry into a definitive agreement under which Unity would acquire Weta’s visual effects (VFX) tools, pipeline, technology and engineering talent for $1.625 billion in a mix of cash and stock.
Founded by Sir Peter Jackson, New Zealand-based Weta is an award winning visual effects company on the forefront of innovation. Weta is known for its work on films such as the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Avatar”, “King Kong” and “The Jungle Book.” Weta will continue to operate post-closing as a standalone VFX and animation company known as WetaFX.
MTO advised Weta on the transaction, with a team led by corporate partner Jennifer Broder, tax partners David Goldman and Matthew Schonholz, and intellectual property partner Zachary Briers. Zara Bari and Joe Moses also assisted on the transaction. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe served as co-counsel to Weta Digital, and DLA Piper provided counsel on New Zealand matters.
The transaction is expected to close before the end of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Read more about the transaction here.