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Canuck toon studio headed for bankruptcy

Kids-logo-460_2Canadian animation studio Arc Productions is set to go into receivership amid “significant financial difficulties”.

The Toronto-based company is best known for work on Matt Hatter Chronicles and Gnomeo & Juliet, but has suffered a liquidity crisis. A court called in Deloitte Restructuring as interim receiver, Toronto VFX Jobs reported.

Deloitte will take control of the company on August 4, as efforts are made to pay outstanding wages, according to CEO Tom Murray in a note to staff.

The company traded as Starz Animation until 2011, when it became Arc after Murray and other investors bought the firm.

Since then, it has worked on series including Matt Hatter and Tarzan & Jane for Netflix, and various feature films. It was recently tapped to produce animation for Sprout series Kody Kapow, and has been servicing Thomas & Friends for the past three years.

The news was met with sorrow from industry figures. Cathal Gaffney, COO of Arc compatriot kids firm 9 Story Media, tweeted it was “sad to see… “lots of talent lose their jobs”.

Arc employs around 500 staff in a 50,000-sq ft complex. Murray said he was working to find a solution to pay staff, adding: “I want you to know how proud I have been to work with all of you and how much I have appreciated your commitment to our clients and loyalty to the company.

“I am so sorry that, in spite of all of the efforts, I have been unable to resolve this crisis and apologise for that failure.”