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Sony Pictures Television Networks announced today it is acquiring the majority stake in anime distributor Funimation Productions, Ltd.
The agreement, valued at almost US$150 million, is still has to go through various regulatory approvals “and other closing conditions.”
The deal, worth US$143 million according to Deadline, would give 95% control of Funimation to Sony Pictures Television, making current Funimation CEO Gen Fukunaga own a minority stake.
Funimation, well-known company in charge of distribution of Japanese animation in the US such as My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, Dragon Ball Super, Cowboy Bebop, and many more anime series in the U.S., would became the latest addition to the family of networks devoted to animation, which include ANIMAX, AXN, Sony Channel, and others.
“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. 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,” said Andy Kaplan, President of Worldwide Networks at Sony Pictures Television.
Funimation CEO Gen Fukunaga said, “With Funimation’s long-established leadership position in anime and Sony’s direct access to the creative pipeline in Japan, it will be a great partnership to take Funimation to the next level.”
The purchase by Sony is not going to affect any of Funimation’s current plans. “We have no plans to change pricing and placement of our physical or digital product,” says Funimation in a post. Check out Funimation’s recent post for more info.
[Sources]: Sony Pictures: Sony Pictures Television Networks to Acquire Substantial Majority Stake in Funimation. Funimation: Funimation Agrees To Be Acquired by Sony Pictures Television Networks. Deadline: Sony Pictures TV Networks To Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation.