Universal Expands Illumination, Purchasing French Animation House

The new company will be named Illumination Mac Guff

Chris Meledandri's Illumination is expanding. 

Universal acquired the French animation unit Mac Guff Ligne on Monday, TheWrap has confirmed.

The company will be added to Meledandri's shop and the company will be renamed Illumination Mac Guff.

The Paris-based company already did much of the animation work for the hit 2010 film "Despicable Me." 

Mac Guff animators will devote themselves to inking Meledandri's cartoon creations going forward. 

Meledandri has been a welcome addition to Universal's team since the studio snapped up from Fox. His most recent offering, "Hop," was a modest performer for the studio when it was released last spring, and expectations are high for next spring's "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax." Mac Guff worked on "The Lorax" too. 

Deal does not include Mac Guff president Jacques Bled's visual effects shop. Bled and Illumination executive Janet Healy will serve as co-presidents of Illumination Mac Guff. 

Deadline first reported the acquisition.