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Sony to acquire anime distributor, Funimation

Sony Pictures Television Networks is set to acquire a 95% majority stake in US-based anime distributor Funimation Productions for about $143 million, Variety has reported.

The deal values the company which was founded in 1994 to distribute various Japanese series’ to western markets, at $150 million.

Funimation’s expansive catalogue includes such widely popular series’ as Dragon Ball Z, My Hero Academia, One Piece and Attack on Titan, as well as movie titles like Your Name (pictured) which drew in massive audiences, grossing over $154 million worldwide.

The new deal will see content brought to Sony’s Animax platform, in 23 countries including Japan.

“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 for Sony Pictures Television, in a statement.

In addition to physical and broadcast releases for its properties, Funimation also operates the FunimationNow streaming platform for North American English-language audiences.

“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,”Funimation’s CEO Gen Fukunaga added, who will maintain a minority state in the firm.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent some six years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@bizmedia.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobHutchins3 if ranting is your thing...

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