Anime streaming service Crunchyroll announced on Wednesday that Funimation Global Group will acquire Crunchyroll from Sony. Funimation’s website also confirmed the takeover. Sony reports the purchase price is $ 1. 175 billion to be paid in cash upon completion. Neither company has released further details of the acquisition and the transaction is pending regulatory approvals and other conditions.
In the announcement, Crunchyroll also noted that it now has 3 million subscribers and 90 million registered users.
Nikkei Asia reported in October that Sony is in the final stages of negotiations to acquire Crunchyroll. At the time, the newspaper reported that Sony “could end up spending more than 100 billion yen ($ 957 million). Technology website The Information reported in August that AT&T was selling Sony Crunchyroll for $ 1. 5 billion. The information said at the time that Sony had allegedly « resisted » the price, which effectively rates the streaming service at $ 500 per subscriber. Entertainment news outlet Variety reported days later that AT&T had set a price of at least $ 1 billion for the sale of Crunchyroll. According to Variety, AT&T bought the company to several potential buyers in addition to Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Crunchyroll was launched in 2006 as a streaming service offering anime titles without permission. The website secured $ 4. 05 million in its first round of funding from Venrock and began licensing titles for streaming in 2008.
The Chernin Group acquired a majority stake in Crunchyroll in December 2013. The Chernin Group and AT&T formed the Otter Media joint venture in 2014, and Otter Media invested an additional $ 22 million in Crunchyroll’s parent company Ellation in November 2015. AT&T then announced in August 2018 that the company had taken over Otter Media.
The service had more than one million subscribers in February 2017 and more than two million subscribers in October 2018.
Crunchyroll and Viz Media Europe signed the contract for Crunchyroll to become the majority owner of the Viz Media Europe Group last December. The companies announced the agreement in September 2019. Viz Media Europe SAS (Société par Actions Simplifiées or Simplified Public Company) announced in April that it had changed its name to Crunchyroll SAS.
In September 2019, Sony Pictures Television and Aniplex merged three Sony-operated anime acquisition and distribution companies – Funimation, based in the USA, Wakanim, based in France, and Madman Anime Group, based in Australia – into a joint venture. Sony Pictures Television Networks acquired a controlling stake in Funimation for $ 143 million in 2017. Funimation ended its content-sharing partnership with Crunchyroll in November 2018 and signed a first-look streaming contract with Hulu in December 2018.
In addition to Funimation, Sony owns the subsidiaries A-1 Pictures and CloverWorks through Aniplex.
Additional detail on Crunchyroll’s relationship with KAZÉ: Since Crunchyroll took a majority stake in Viz Media Europe in December 2019, Crunchyroll also owns the French anime distributor KAZÉ (the company was integrated into Viz Media Europe in 2009). .
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Crunchyroll, Funimation, Sony Corporation, AT&T, Aniplex, Anime
World News – CA – Sony’s Funimation Global Group acquires Crunchyroll for US $ 1. 175 billion in cash
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