Venture Capital Firm The Carlyle Group Is Said to Be Ready to Cash Out Its Investment in the VFX Software Company

It could be Adobe Nuke CC one day soon, if a report that appeared Saturday in the London business press pans out. According to The Telegraph, Adobe is preparing to offer as much as £200 million ($304 million) to purchase The Foundry from its current owner, The Carlyle Group.

The report comes just a few months after The Sunday Times said that Carlyle had named London-based Arma Partners as consultants in a planned sale of The Foundry. 

Asked for a response to its reported interest in the purchase, an Adobe representative told us, "Adobe does not comment on rumors or speculation." Our contact at The Foundry likewise declined comment.

The Foundry's Nuke, a widely used node-based 3D compositor originally developed in the early 1990s as an in-house tool at Digital Domain, is the company's flagship product. Its portfolio also includes 3D painting, modeling and rendering software Modo, which it acquired in a 2012 merger with Luxology, as well as the Mari 3D paint tool, the Hiero shot management, conform and review system, the Katana lighting and look-dev framework, and the Colorway design-iteration application introduced last summer.

Nuke would be a jewel in Adobe's crown, extending the company's VFX offerings into high-end 3D compositing. And it would arrive at a time when Adobe's content creation suite is starting to make serious inroads in Hollywood, with filmmakers including David Fincher, Lorne Michaels, and the Coen Brothers using Premiere Pro CC to cut feature films. It's hard to imagine highly advanced tools like Nuke and Modo being incorporated into the $49.99/month Creative Cloud subscription, but it's possible those products could pave the way to more expensive premium licensing options aimed at larger VFX teams and facilities.

At NAB, The Foundry promoted Nuke Non-commercial, new free versions of Nuke, NukeX, and Nuke Studio with "light functional restrictions" (but no watermarks) aimed at allowing a broader range of artists to learn how to use Nuke in personal projects.