The anime division of Madman Entertainment, one of Australia’s leading distribution and licensing companies, has been acquired by Sony‘s anime and music production subsidiary Aniplex.
According to a column published in the Australian Financial Review, Aniplex snapped up the anime division for AU$35 million (around PHP1.303 billion) which, according to the column, is one-third of the overall valuation of the company.
In February 2018, Aniplex acquired a minority stake in the division, which lists Five V Capital and former media executives Brett Chenoweth and Charbel Nader as investors.
Madman Entertainment was founded by Tim Anderson and Paul Wiegard in 1996. Toymaker Funtastic Ltd, which lists Lachlan Murdoch and Harvey Norman’s Gerry Harvey as investors, acquired them in 2006 but later sold in 2014 due to financial troubles.
Anderson and Wiegard, alongside Five V, Chenoweth and Nader, bought back the company in 2016 and has since been run independently.
Madman is primarily involved in distribution and licensing of anime titles, as well as live action films, documentaries, and home video products. The company also owns the anime streaming service AnimeLab and documentary streamer DocPlay.
Recently, it has organized Madman Anime Festival, a multi-city anime and Japanese pop culture event.
This year, MadFest will hold their first-ever event at the International Convention Centre in Sydney on March, alongside events in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.
Prior to the Australian company’s acquisition, another Sony division, Sony Pictures Television, has acquired a majority stake in North American anime company Funimation in 2017, triggering an end to the content-sharing deal the company had with Crunchyroll. The service has since signed on a streaming deal with Hulu.
Sony Pictures Television also owns anime channel ANIMAX, which has a presence in Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia, including the Philippines.
AU$1 = PHP 37.2343 as of Feb. 07, 2019 (Source: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas)