Madman Sells Anime Division to Sony

February 12, 2019
The Australian independent distributor that brought Japanese animation to this country more than 20 years ago has struck a multi-million dollar sale of its highly profitable anime arm to Sony owned anime division, Aniplex.

We recently wrote about 20 Years of Madman Entertainment, a company that changed the film viewing culture in Australia when they launched in 1996, with their first DVD release the anime classic Ghost in the Shell. Anime was not the only game in town for the company, though, as they started to release Australian and overseas indie feature films, however the explosion in pop culture has made their anime assets such as Animelab, Anime Festival and the various licenses that they distribute, a highly valuable asset. Only very recently, Madman released Dragon Ball Super: Broly in cinemas to a $2million and still going result at the box office.

In the regularly shifting landscape in film distribution in this country and around the world, as reported by AFR, the Private Equity firm Five V Capital – which helped Madman founders Paul Weigard and Tim Anderson buy back the company from Funtastic back in 2014, after it was sold in 2006 – has struck a deal for $35million with Aniplex, the anime brand of Japanese owned Sony.

This leaves Madman with their film and home entertainment distribution division, plus their streaming platforms Garage and Docplay, and Sony with the great task of maintaining the loyal customers that Madman built over all of these years.

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