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Universal’s International Division to Take Interest in Geneon

13 Nov, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Universal Pictures International Entertainment, the overseas division of NBC Universal, has agreed to take a majority interest in Dentsu Inc.’s anime company Geneon.

At one point the largest distributor of anime in the United States, Geneon stopped distributing titles here in late 2007, after Dentsu reported losses of about $44 million in its anime business. Currently, other domestic anime distributors such as Funimation have licensed some Geneon titles for American distribution.

The Universal-Geneon agreement has Universal’s international division owning 80.1% of interests in Geneon, which will be merged with Universal Pictures Japan. The deal will be completed in early 2009, and for now results only in Japanese DVD distribution of titles Geneon owns. Universal Pictures Japan and Geneon have been working together since March, with Geneon distributing new Universal releases in Japan.

“We are delighted to announce this new joint venture which will build upon Universal’s successful distribution partnership with Geneon and help us to establish a strong DVD distribution and local content platform in Japan,” said Eddie Cunningham, president of Universal Pictures International Entertainment.

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