Anime distributor valued at US$150 million.
Sony Pictures Television Networks announced on Monday that it will acquire the majority stake in FUNimation Entertainment. The agreement, which values the company at about US$150 million, will still have to go through regulatory approvals and other conditions for closing. Funimation CEO Gen Fukunaga will retain his position and a minority stake in the business.
Deadline and Variety report that the majority stake is 95%, purchased at US$143 million.
Sony Pictures Television Networks operates branded linear television and digital networks, including Japanese satellite anime channel Animax and streaming service Crackle. Earlier this year, Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan formed with a joint venture company with Mitsui & Co., the company that owns the majority stake in anime channel Kids Station. The joint venture, AK Holdings, serves as the management company for both Animax and Kids Station, and plans to hold worldwide events to expand the global anime market.
“Around the world, Sony’s networks have been major players in the anime space for nearly two decades, and in more recent years we have rapidly increased our networks’ over-the-top and digital offerings to consumers,” Andy Kaplan, president of Worldwide Networks at Sony Pictures Television, said in a statement. “With the acquisition of Funimation, the combined IP of Animax, Kids Station and Funimation allows us to deliver the best anime to fans across all screens and platforms.”
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