Private Equity


7 minutes


Foresight portfolio company Cinelab London acquires On Set Tech

  • Cinelab London, a leading film and post-production company, combines with On Set Tech, a UK digital imaging and dailies facilities company
  • Acquisition creates the only full-service laboratory and dailies company in the UK, uniting film and digital expertise in a fast-growing UK market for film and TV production
  • Enables the combined group to scale with complementary offerings and an enlarged addressable market
  • Foresight initially provided £2.25m of growth capital to Cinelab London in 2017
  • Recent feature film and episodic series projects from Cinelab London and On Set Tech include James Bond ‘No Time To Die’, Wonder Woman 1984, Rocketman, The Witcher and Succession

Click here to read the announcement as a PDF

London, 08 April 2021: Foresight Group (“Foresight”), an award-winning listed private equity and infrastructure investment manager, is pleased to announce that portfolio company Cinelab London (“the Company”), a leading UK post-production company, has acquired On Set Tech, one of the UK’s most reputable digital imaging and dailies service providers. This marks the 55th transaction made by Foresight’s private equity team in the last twelve months, making Foresight one of the most active UK SME investors in the market and a key provider of essential financial support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK film and high entertainment television production industry is seeing a robust bounce-back from the COVID-19 lockdowns, with the last quarter in 2020 delivering the second highest quarterly spend. With fresh capital from Netflix, Disney and Amazon being invested to open and expand film production studios in and around London, the outlook for the UK’s film and TV production industry is very positive and Cinelab London is well positioned to meet this growing demand. In addition to its current services, providing a range of post-production services for media shot both on film and digital media, the Company will now also offer digital imaging services including digital dailies, colour and workflow support. The two businesses have collaborated closely for a number of years and have already completed multiple complex and rewarding projects. This includes the feature biopic on Sir Elton John - 'Rocketman’, Edgar Wright's highly anticipated psychological horror 'Last Night in Soho', Prano Bailey-Bond's British horror film 'Censor’ and Will Sharpe’s historical drama  'The Electrical Life of Louis Wain’.

Commenting on the acquisition, Adrian Bull, CEO of Cinelab London, said: "This is a real milestone for Cinelab London. I have known On Set Tech founders Joshua Callis-Smith and Simon Chubbock for many years and admired their approach to client service, the quality of and dedication to their work and the team culture they have created. I am delighted that we are moving forward together, sharing a vision and synergies leveraging each other’s strengths. Collectively, we will continue to add value to productions making great content, whether originating on film or digital formats. Combining our businesses enables us to provide the very best talent and expertise to support all filmmakers.”

Joshua Callis Smith, Managing Director of On Set Tech and CTO of Cinelab London, commented: "On Set Tech was born out of a passion for pushing the boundaries of what could be achieved with on set dailies grading, file management and workflow implementation. We pride ourselves on technical proficiency, uninhibited creativity and a desire to be at the forefront of our industry. Joining Cinelab London allows us to continue to invest in our resources and, at the same time, innovate and become a full-service film laboratory and dailies company.”


Simon Chubbock, Managing Director of On Set Tech and COO of Cinelab London, added: "Technology and production doesn't stand still and neither do we. We are proud of what we’ve come to achieve thus far, and with the merger with Cinelab London, we can progress to the next level, expanding our skillsets, resources and offering. Through our collaborations to date with Cinelab London, it’s clear that we share the same level of commitment to our clients and employees."


Lindsay Duebendorfer, Investment Manager at Foresight, said: “Since investing in Cinelab London in 2017, Foresight has been consistently impressed by the Company’s position in its core market of film processing and post-production, its growth to date and the strength of its customer relationships. Foresight is pleased to have supported Adrian and the Cinelab London team in this acquisition and is looking forward to working with Joshua and Simon as On Set Tech joins the portfolio. This is a strategic transaction and uniquely positions the combined group as the only UK company to offer both film and digital services, from pre-production to dailies, under one roof.

Foresight is one of the most active investors in SMEs in the UK, with flexible capital to fund companies in any sector through a wide range of transactions and growth stages. With seven offices across the UK, the Foresight team works closely with entrepreneurs and management teams, an approach that has delivered strong returns to investors for over 35 years.


Advisers to On Set Tech:

Legal Advice:                    Langleys Solicitors


Advisers to Cinelab London and Foresight:

Financial DD:                    Azets Corporate Finance

Legal Advice:                    RW Blears


For more information contact:

Citigate (PR to Foresight):

Patricia De Bidegain: / +44 (0) 7921 353 825

Will Easton: / +44 (0) 7860 753146


Notes to Editors 

About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):

Foresight is an award-winning listed infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 35 years.

Foresight has £6.8 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs), Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Relief (BR) and Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs).

Foresight’s Private Equity Team, comprising over 30 investment professionals, manages c.£700 million in a portfolio of more than 100 companies and pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.

Foresight was a commended finalist in the Best Venture Capital Trust Provider category at the 2020 Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts Awards. Foresight was named ‘Fund Manager of the Year’ at the PLC Awards last year, ‘Generalist VCT of the Year’ at the Investment Week Tax Efficiency Awards 2018/19 and was a finalist in the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards as Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year.

Foresight’s largest office is in London with regional UK offices in Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Cambridge and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Madrid, and Luxembourg.

About Cinelab London:

CEO Adrian Bull co-founded Cinelab London in 2013, launched by a technically creative team of film and post-production specialists. Cinelab London quickly established itself as one of the world's leading film laboratories. Modernising the film laboratory and photochemical services was crucial to success; an integrated end-to-end film and digital workflow was introduced and, equally as important, offering a personal, best-quality service to all its clients. Cinelab London processes all colour negative motion picture film formats: S8mm, 16mm, 35mm and 65mm. Recent projects include feature films such as James Bond ‘No Time To Die’, Wonder Woman 1984 and The Northman. Episodic series include Succession, Doc Martin and Small Axe.

About On Set Tech:

Founded in 2013 by Joshua Callis Smith, On Set Tech is a digital imaging and dailies facility with an experienced and trusted team of Dailies and Digital Imaging Technician (DIT) specialists assisting cinematographers on high-end motion picture and episodic productions. On Set Tech specialises in on set services, data management, live-grades and sophisticated dailies grading, camera, technical and workflow support. Until the beginning of 2019, On Set Tech worked predominantly on location or at studios before opening permanent facilities at Cinelab London. Recent projects include feature films such as Operation Mincemeat, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3, Rocketman and What’s Love Got To Do With It. Episodic series The Dark Crystal, The Witcher and Save Me Too.

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