BGF (Business Growth Fund) has invested an initial £2m in Milk Visual Effects and  ex Pinewood Group ceo Ivan Dunleavy has joined Milk as non executive chairman.


Milk will use the funding to expand its studios; invest in new technical equipment and R&D and hire talent to “significantly increase” its ability to work on feature film, high-end television and digital content with companies like Warner Bros., the BBC and Netflix.


Milk was founded by five VFX supervisors and producers in 2013, including current CEO Will Cohen, and now employs 150 staff across its sites in London and Cardiff. 


The studio has won multiple awards including BAFTA Television Craft awards for Doctor Who and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell  and won an Emmy in 2016 for work on the BBC drama Sherlock, and in 2016 co-founder Sara Bennett won an Oscar for her work on the film Ex-Machina in the Best VFX Category.


Milk has recently worked Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, High-Rise and Free Fire and The Martian.


Milk is currently in production on projects including Alex Garland’s upcoming feature Annihilation (DNA/Paramount), Kingsman 2 (Lionsgate), and Electric Dreams (Channel 4/Left Bank/Sony) and Doctor Who series 10. 


Former Pinewood coo Ivan Dunleavy joins as the non-executive chairman after being introduced to Milk by BGF.      


BGF has £2.5bn to make long-term equity investments in “early-stage, established and listed companies.”


Milk’s CEO, Will Cohen, explained: “Our new partnership with BGF and the appointment of Ivan Dunleavy as chairman will help us to deliver the most challenging and creative visual effects work for the global feature film, high end television and emerging digital content markets. We look forward to building on our success over the last four years – which is testament to the dedication and expertise of our team at Milk. It’s a wonderful way to begin our fifth year in business.”


Ivan Dunleavy said: "The team at Milk, led by Will Cohen, has done a fantastic job at building the business and establishing its credentials in the globally competitive VFX marketplace. I look forward to working with them and BGF in realising the next stage of our exciting plan to develop the Milk brand even further, at a time when audiences on all channels and platforms expect quality creative content."


Gavin Petken, regional director at BGF, added: “We are delighted to back Milk in their quest to create an independent visual effects business of scale. Will and the team have an outstanding reputation for delivering innovative, ground breaking visual effects and have cultivated valuable and strategic commercial relationships. They have scaled the business well, and we are excited to see our investment help accelerate their growth even further.”   


Jon Creamer

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