Navarre Sells Anime Studio FUNimation
The distributor will keep its fulfillment and distribution relationship with FUNimation, but give up publishing responsibilities.
by Emily Warren
Date Published: 04/08/2011
Fullmetal Alchemist. Photo courtesy of Funimation.com
The Navarre Corporation, a distributor, has officially left the entertainment distribution business with the sale of FUNimation on April 4, 2011. Navarre purchased FUNimation for almost one hundred million in cash and fifteen million in stock in 2005. Navarre has been trying to sell the company since May of 2010, and until recently there were concerns within the company as to whether there would be any potential buyers.
Navarre ended up selling FUNimation for twenty-four million dollars to a group of investors, of which Navarre CEO Gen Fukunaga is a minor shareholder. Many are surprised by the low price, as Navarre sold FUNimation for almost ninety-one million less than it paid for it.
There has been speculation that Navarre was desperate to sell FUNimation, despite its success, so that it can continue to distribute the goods associated with the series, but not actually handle the publishing.
FUNimation is one of the anime distribution powerhouses in the United States. Created in 1994 by Gen Fukunaga, the entertainment company has been in charge of Dragon Ball Z, Full Metal Alchemist, Wolf' s Rain, YuYu Hakusho, One Piece, Hetalia, Black Butler, and countless other popular series.