Entertainment giant Sony Pictures Television Networks will acquire a 95 percent stake in Flower Mound-based anime distributor Funimation Productions for about $143 million.
According to a report in Variety, the deal valued Funimation at roughly $150 million.
Anime is a form of Japanese animation that can contain hand-drawn or computer-generated artwork, and the content comes in colorful, and often in fantastical themes.
Funimation CEO and founder Gen Fukunaga will retain a minority stake in the company and will stay on as chief executive, Variety said. Funimation was founded in 1994.
Funimation’s extensive anime catalog includes such titles as “Dragon Ball Z,” “One Piece,” “Cowboy Bebop,” “My Hero Academia,” and “Attack on Titan.” Last year it bought U.S. rights to the Japanese hit “Your Name,” Variety reported.
TAKING FUNIMATION TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Sony said the deal will augment its multiplatform Animax network that is geared around Japanese anime content, in 23 countries including Japan.
“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,” Fukunaga said in a statement.
Last year, Funimation and Crunchyroll announced a partnership that they said would bring more anime to those fans who enjoy the Japanese animation.
Funimation and Crunchyroll — which has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Tokyo, Japan — are two of the leading anime providers in the U.S.
CATALOG CONTAINS 10,000 HOURS OF CONTENT
Funimation licenses, adapts, and distributes anime content from Japanese rights holders internationally.
Its catalog includes more than 10,000 hours of content with rights to more than 450 brands and provides dubbed and subbed anime across multiple channels. Funimation operates the FunimationNow streaming platform for North American English-language audiences.
JPMorgan Chase was financial adviser to Funimation for the deal, and the Fort Worth law firm Kelly Hart & Hallman was legal adviser.