Sony Pictures Takes Stake in Anime Co.

GLOBAL–Sony Pictures Television Networks will acquire a substantial majority stake in Funimation Productions, a Japanese anime distributor, in a deal valuing the company at roughly $150 million.

April 6, 2018

Hollywood studio doubles down on anime with investment in Funimation, home of “Dragon Ball Z” distribution in the U.S.

Gen Fukunaga, chief executive officer, Funimation, will retain a minority stake in the business and will remain as the company’s CEO. The transaction is also subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Funimation is known for licensing and distributing Japanese anime content–such as “Dragon Ball Z,” “Cowboy Bebop,” “One Piece,” “My Hero Academia” and “Attack on Titan”–in the U.S. The company also operates the subscription streaming service FunimationNOW, which is available via the PlayStation Store, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Apps, Xbox Store and mobile devices.

Furthermore, Funimation sells merchandise and DVDs through its website

“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,” says Andy Kaplan, president, worldwide networks, Sony Pictures Television. “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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