CULVER CITY, CA AND DALLAS, TX, August 9, 2021 — Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. (SPE) and AT&T Inc.* (NYSE:T) today announced that SPE has completed its acquisition of AT&T’s Crunchyroll anime business through Funimation Global Group, LLC. Funimation is a joint venture between SPE and Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.’s subsidiary, Aniplex Inc. The agreement was first announced in December 2020.
Crunchyroll is a premier anime direct-to-consumer service with 5 million SVOD subscribers and growing. It serves 120 million registered users across more than 200 countries and territories offering AVOD, mobile games, manga, events, merchandise and distribution. The deal provides the opportunity for Crunchyroll and Funimation to broaden distribution for their content partners and expand fan-centric offerings for consumers.
“We are very excited to welcome Crunchyroll to the Sony Group,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and CEO, Sony Group Corporation. “Anime is a rapidly growing medium that enthralls and inspires emotion among audiences around the globe. The alignment of Crunchyroll and Funimation will enable us to get even closer to the creators and fans who are the heart of the anime community. We look forward to delivering even more outstanding entertainment that fills the world with emotion through anime.”
“Crunchyroll adds tremendous value to Sony’s existing anime businesses, including Funimation and our terrific partners at Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan,” said Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. “With Crunchyroll and Funimation, we are committed to creating the ultimate anime experience for fans and presenting a unique opportunity for our key partners, publishers, and the immensely talented creators to continue to deliver their masterful content to audiences 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 across any platform they choose, from theatrical, events, home entertainment, games, streaming, linear TV — everywhere and every way fans want to experience their anime. Our goal is to create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible.”
The purchase price for the transaction is $1.175 billion, subject to customary working capital and other adjustments, and the proceeds were paid in cash at closing. AT&T expects to use the proceeds from this transaction to help support its debt reduction efforts, with plans to reach a net debt-to-adjusted EBITDA of below 2.5x by year-end 2023.