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It's official: Funimation completes the purchase of Crunchyroll

Sony confirmed that the amount of the transaction amounted to 1,175 million dollars and was paid in cash at closing.

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.
This story originally appeared on Cine Premiere
By Gustavo Á. Pineda

Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and AT&T Inc. announced today that Funimation Global Group, LLC . (Sony) has completed the purchase of Crunchyroll (AT&T). Funimation is a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and the Aniplex Inc. subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.

Vía Cine Premiere

In a press release , Sony confirmed that the amount of the transaction amounted to $ 1,175 million and was paid in cash at closing. The company added that this agreement provides them the opportunity to expand distribution for their content partners and expand fan-centric offerings.

“We are very excited to welcome Crunchyroll to the Sony Group. Anime is a rapidly growing medium that captivates and inspires emotions in audiences around the world. The Crunchyroll and Funimation lineup will allow us to get even closer to the creators and fans who are the heart of the anime community. We look forward to providing even more outstanding entertainment that fills the world with excitement through anime. ”

Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Sony Group Corporation.

Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., explained what the potential benefits of this move could be for the anime industry, noting that the goal is to “create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible. possible".

“Crunchyroll adds tremendous value to Sony's existing anime business, including Funimation and our great partners Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan. With Crunchyroll and Funimation, we are committed to creating the best anime experience for fans and presenting a unique opportunity for our key partners, publishers, and enormously talented creators to continue to deliver their masterful content around the world. With the addition of Crunchyroll, we have an unprecedented opportunity to serve anime fans like never before and deliver the anime experience on any platform they choose, from theaters, events, home entertainment, gaming, streaming, linear television, everywhere and in all the ways fans want to experience anime. Our goal is to create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible. ”

Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.

The official positions of Crunchyroll and Funimation

Crunchyroll shared the following message regarding the sale of its assets:

“Today we can share that Crunchyroll and Funimation have become one company.

The two brands you know and love will now be working together, and we think this is great for fans and the industry alike! Both teams are knowledgeable, passionate, and committed to the anime community for decades. We couldn't ask for better partners.

We know you may have questions! Today we begin the work of bringing together two incredible teams to give you more of what you love. Thank you for your trust and support! "


For its part, Funimation published an entry on its blog about the purchase of Crunchyroll, where it reported that both services will continue to operate separately while the teams of both brands work on the unified subscription model. In that sense, the platform has already enabled a question and answer section on the merger.

“We are beyond excited that today Funimation and Crunchyroll have become one company. This means that two anime-obsessed teams will come together to bring you even more of what you love, where you want it, when you want it. It's a huge win for the creators and especially the fans! Long live the anime!

Our priority is you, the millions of fans who make up the global anime community. And now we have the opportunity to create a unified anime subscription experience that puts fans first, offering the most comprehensive lineup ever. There is a lot to do, so work starts today to make this happen!

We know you have a lot of questions! For now it's anime as usual on both services, and as soon as we have an update, you'll be the first to know . "


A landmark move for the anime industry

In August 2020, The Information was the first to report that AT&T would have offered Crunchyroll directly to Sony for $ 1,500 million. Days later, Variety noted that the US conglomerate would have actually set a starting price of $ 1,000 million, and that Sony was just one of multiple buyers in the negotiation. By the end of October, Nikkei Asia would confirm that Sony was already in final negotiations with AT&T.

The sale of Crunchyroll to Funimation Global Group, LLC was officially announced on December 9, 2020. The transaction is completed exactly eight months later, following antitrust reviews by the United States Department of Justice.

Sony already had a large presence in the anime industry outside of Japan. It was in 2017 when the company acquired a majority stake in Funimation . Since then, the multinational has chosen to consolidate under this brand two other distributors that it has acquired in the international market, already having a presence in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, France, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia , Peru and Chile. Additionally, Sony owns the distributor and producer Aniplex in Japan.

For its part, Crunchyroll started as an illegal anime streaming service in 2006. Two years later, the website obtained financing to begin purchasing licenses for the transmission of this content in the United States. In 2013, The Chernin Group acquired a majority stake in the company, but AT&T entered the picture a year later. AT&T would finalize the purchase of Crunchyroll's assets in August 2018. The platform has 120 million registered users - 5 million of them as subscribers - in more than 200 countries and territories.