Crunchyroll Gets Majority Stake in Viz Media Europe

AT&T’s Crunchyroll acquired a majority stake in VIZ Media Europe Group, which licences and distributes Japanese animation.

The Hitotsubashi Group retains a minority stake in Viz Media Europe as part of the transition.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Crunchyroll and VIZ Media Europe Group will bring together significant expertise, capabilities, and dedication to grow and promote our respective licensed and original content,” said Joanne Waage, general manager of Crunchyroll. “We look forward to learning from and collaborating with our new colleagues in Paris, Lausanne and Berlin, so we can continuously create the most engaging experiences for anime and manga communities around the world.”

Crunchyroll, part of AT&T’s Otter Media unit, was founded in 2006 as an anime sharing platform and now offers streaming video, events, consumer products and games.

VIZ Media Europe distributes content in 100 countries, publishes Manga content, and has DVD and streaming video businesses.

“We have built a large network in EMEA and beyond, expanding our manga and licensing expertise through multiple skills in various business lines: TV, DVD, Digital & Merchandising,” said Kazuyoshi Takeuchi, CEO of VIZ Media Europe Group. “Over the last decade, our team has shown a deep understanding of Japanese pop culture and adaptation within local markets, and I believe this relationship will strengthen our position and future growth, adapting to changes in the dynamic Japanese animation industry and global business climate.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.