Sony Pictures made an announcement on Monday, July 31 that they will be acquiring a majority stake in FUNimation. The total amount that they are purchasing is 95% of the company for a total of around $143 million. The deal already has approvals through regulators to close, but there is no official time as to when Sony will assume the 95% ownership. Sony wants to take FUNimation’s services to their networks and to utilize that content to its fullest. As for the FUNimation side of things, Gen Fukunaga, the current CEO of FUNimation, will remain in his position as a minority stakeholder in the company.
There had been speculation about Sony wanting to make an investment in FUNimation as early as May this year after Bloomberg ran a report about the possibility of it happening. This is not Sony’s first foray into the world of Japanese anime as Sony already owns and operates Animax, which it broadcasts content through its Crackle service. Sony has also made an investment in Mitsui & Co., the company that holds a majority stake in the Kids Station anime channel. Both Kids Station and Animax are being handled through the AK Holdings joint venture.
Gen Fukunaga made a quote about the acquisition stating the following:
“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.”
Andy Kaplan, President of Worldwide Networks at Sony Pictures stated the following:
“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,”
This information was reported by and courtesy of Deadline