AT&T has signed a deal to sell its Crunchyroll anime business to Sony’s Funimation Global Group for $1.175 billion, both companies announced.
“We are proud to bring Crunchyroll into the Sony family,” says Tony Vinciquerra, chairman and chief executive officer, Sony Pictures Entertainment. “Through Funimation and our terrific partners at Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan, we have a deep understanding of this global artform and are well-positioned to deliver outstanding content to audiences around the world. Together with Crunchyroll, we will create the best possible experience for fans and greater opportunity for creators, producers and publishers in Japan and elsewhere. Funimation has been doing this for over 25 years and we look forward to continuing to leverage the power of creativity and technology to succeed in this rapidly growing segment of entertainment.”
Funimation is a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment Japan’s subsidiary, Aniplex. Crunchyroll is a premier anime direct-to-consumer service within AT&T’s WarnerMedia segment with more than three million SVOD subscribers and growing. It serves 90 million registered users across more than 200 countries and territories offering AVOD, mobile games, manga, events merchandise and distribution. The combination of Crunchyroll and Funimation provides the opportunity to broaden distribution for their content partners and expand fan-centric offerings for consumers.
“The Crunchyroll team has done an extraordinary job of not only growing the Crunchyroll brand but also building a passionate community of anime fans,” says Tony Goncalves, chief revenue officer, WarnerMedia. “Crunchyroll’s success is a direct result of the company’s culture and commitment to their fans. By combining with Funimation, they will continue to nurture a global community and bring more anime to more people. I’m incredibly proud of the Crunchyroll team and what they have been able to accomplish in the digital media space in such a short period of time. They’ve created an end-to-end global ecosystem for this incredible art form.”
The $1.175 billion purchase price for the transaction is subject to customary working capital and other adjustments, and the proceeds will be paid in cash at closing. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
"We are excited to embark on this new journey,” says Joanne Waage, general manager, Crunchyroll. “Crunchyroll has built a world-class brand with a passionate fan-base of over 3M subscribers, 50M social followers and 90M registered users. These amazing fans have helped to propel anime into a global phenomenon. Combining the strength of the Crunchyroll brand and the expertise of our global team with Funimation is an exciting prospect and a win for the incredible art form of anime.”