Acquisition Extends AMC Networks’ Position as the Global Leader in Targeted Streaming, with an Expanding Array of Services that Super-Serve Passionate Fans
New York, NY (January 5, 2022) – AMC Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: AMCX) announced today it has completed the acquisition of Houston-based Sentai Holdings, LLC (“Sentai”), a leading global supplier of anime content and official anime merchandise, with brands including the anime-focused HIDIVE direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service. The acquisition includes all of the member interests from Cool Japan Fund, Inc., a public-private Japanese investment fund.
With strong industry relationships and access to key content creators in Japan, Sentai distributes and curates one of the anime industry’s most diverse libraries of top trending and classic titles, with its content available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Amazon Prime, among others. Sentai’s HIDIVE streaming service represents a strong new addition to AMC Networks’ portfolio of fast-growing targeted offerings, which includes AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK. AMC Networks, the global leader in targeted streaming, has forecast its targeted streaming portfolio will have exceeded nine million paid subscribers by year-end 2021, with 20-25 million paid subscribers by 2025.
Japanese anime is a rapidly growing entertainment category, with a highly-engaged global fanbase propelled by its unique aesthetics and evangelical fans, convention culture and increased online accessibility.
“With a seasoned team, strong content and direct-to-consumer offerings for fans around the world, Sentai is a key global player in anime,” said AMC Networks Interim CEO Matt Blank. “This acquisition builds on AMC Networks’ already strong IP and franchises, and furthers our targeted streaming strategy of super-serving passionate audiences with content depth, curation and community. With the addition of Sentai, we see an even greater opportunity to build on AMC Networks’ position as the global leader in targeted streaming, as we continue to grow a sustainable and long-term profitable streaming business that will be transformational for our company.”
John Ledford, Sentai’s Founder stated, “We are thrilled by AMC Networks’ acquisition and are excited to be a part of their growth strategy. This acquisition will not change Sentai’s mission to deliver the most exciting anime content to audiences around the world — it will expand it greatly and will give our content businesses more distribution, more partnerships, more scale and more reach. I could not be more pleased.”
Sentai’s executive management team of Ledford, Griffin Vance, and Paul Clinkscales, will continue on in senior roles.
PwC Advisory LLC acted as financial advisor, Arnold & Porter and Shiomizaka acted as legal counsel, KPMG FAS Co., Ltd. acted as financial advisor, KPMG Tax Corporation acted as tax advisor, and A.T. Kearney K.K. acted as Strategic advisory to Cool Japan Fund, Inc. in connection with the transaction. Paul Clinkscales led the transaction for Sentai. Hughes Hubbard & Reed acted as legal counsel to AMC Networks.
About AMC Networks:
AMC Networks is a global entertainment company known for its popular and critically-acclaimed content. Its portfolio of brands includes fast-growing targeted streaming services AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK, as well as AMC, BBC AMERICA (operated through a joint venture with BBC Studios), IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv and IFC Films. AMC Studios, the Company’s in-house studio, production and distribution operation, is behind some of the biggest titles and brands known to a global audience, including The Walking Dead, the Anne Rice catalog and the Agatha Christie library. The Company also operates AMC Networks International, its international programming business, and 25/7 Media, its production services business.
Sentai, a leading global supplier of anime content and official merchandise, is dedicated to bringing captivating stories and iconic characters directly from Japan. Sentai’s brands include HIDIVE (direct-to-consumer streaming), SentaiFilmworks.com (direct to consumer E-Commerce), Anime Network (Cable SVOD) and Sentai Studios (localization and studio services). Sentai’s diverse library includes thousands of hours of hit titles and classic series including MADE IN ABYSS, Akame ga Kill, Food Wars!, Clannad, Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, High School of the Dead, Girls & Panzer, No Game No Life, K-On!, Assassin’s Pride and Parasyte -the maxim-.
About Cool Japan Fund:
Cool Japan Fund was founded in November 2013 as a public-private Japanese investment fund with the aim of supporting and promoting the development of demand overseas for excellent Japanese products and services. Cool Japan Fund aims to commercialize the “Cool Japan” and increase overseas demand by providing risk capital for businesses across a variety of areas, including media & content, food & services, fashion & lifestyle and inbound. Further information is available at https://www.cj-fund.co.jp/en/