Funimation, one of the US's premier anime distributors/streaming services is being acquired by Sony Pictures ( SNE ) for $143MN and a 95% stake. Current CEO Gen Fukunaga will retain his position with his 5% share.
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As of now, the Texas based Funimation adapts, licenses and distributes anime content from Japan, and they have the rights to over 450 brands with more than 10,000 hours of content. Additionally, the company sells merchandise and DVDs through its website, Funimation.com. The acquisition of Funimation will put Sony firmly on the radar against other anime streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.
"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 Fukunaga said in a statement.
Changes are coming to Funimation, anime fans. Sony already has a cable network called Animax that offers anime titles, available in 23 countries. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as legal advisor to Sony Pictures Television Networks.