Sony Pictures Television Networks will pay about $143 million for a 95 percent stake in Funimation, the U.S. anime distributor whose vast catalog includes Attack on Titan, Cowboy Bebop, Dragonball Z and One Piece.
Gen Fukunaga, who founded Funimation in 1994, will retain a minority stake in the company and remain as its chief executive officer.
Funimation join such Sony brands as the Japanese anime satellite TV network Animax, the Japanese children’s TV channel Kids Station, and streaming platform Crackle.
“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,” Andy Kaplan, president of worldwide networks at Sony Pictures Television, said in a statement. “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.”
Following the announcement of the acquisition, Funimation posted an FAQ on its website, assuring fans that “the team will continue to deliver the best anime experiences we can to you.”
“Funimation will always strive to honor the intent of the Japanese creators in our productions,” the statement reads. “There will be no changes to our translation, script writing, voice actors or production staff. We will be keeping our production facilities in Texas so we can continue to bring SimulDubs to you within two weeks of the Japanese broadcast date.”
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