Viz/ShoPro Merger Completed, Viz Media Emerges

Mon, April 4th, 2005 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Jonah Weiland, Executive Producer/Publisher

Last January we learned that Manga publisher Viz and anime and product licensor ShoPro Entertainment were going to merge to form a new entertainment company. At the time the only thing left to do was physically merge the two companies and come up with a new name. Today, Viz announced the merger has been completed and the new name for the combined companies will be Viz Media. The full press release follows.

Official Press Release

San Francisco, CA, APRIL 4, 2005 - VIZ, LLC and ShoPro Entertainment, Inc., two prominent North American based companies specializing in Japanese content, announced the completion of their merger today to form VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), a groundbreaking new entertainment company specializing in the production and licensing of animated content for TV and theatrical distribution, publishing, home video distribution, and consumer products. VIZ Media, based in its new location just two blocks from historical Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, will leverage the unique collaboration, vision and ownership of three global powerhouses in Japanese manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc. and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. VIZ Media will be owned 40% by Shogakukan Inc. and Shueisha Inc. respectively, and 20% by Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd.

The merger was a natural progression for VIZ, LLC and ShoPro Entertainment, Inc., who have successively collaborated on many hit properties including the wildly successful INUYASHA and MEGAMAN NT WARRIOR. As one entity, the new company will benefit from shared resources and creative talent, and gain access to Japan's strongest content, enhancing its ability to reach a wider audience.

VIZ Media's mission is to enrich lives worldwide through the highest quality entertainment and unmatched storytelling.

"We are excited to continue expanding our business by developing entertainment content across all available mediums for people of all ages on a worldwide basis," said Hidemi Fukuhara, President and CEO of VIZ Media. "Having the support and leveraging the combined assets of three of Japan's largest and most respected content creators provides VIZ Media with a significant competitive advantage and will create unlimited new opportunities for our company."

Going forward, VIZ Media will grow its business by working with its parent companies to maximize their brands' exposure on an all rights basis. Implementing a comprehensive brand strategy that effectively bridges a range of media, including TV broadcast, publishing, home video, licensing, consumer products and promotions, VIZ Media aims to become an industry leader worldwide for audiences of all ages.

 
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