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Tokyo, Japan, February 23, 2017 - Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan) Inc. ("SPEJ") and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui") today announced they will establish AK Holdings Corporation, a joint venture that will operate Japanese anime networks KIDS STATION and Animax, in addition to producing and distributing animated content, staging animation events around the world, and operating themed restaurants.
As majority owner of AK Holdings, SPEJ will appoint Masao Takiyama, Managing Director of SPEJ Television Network, to serve as Representative Director of both KIDS STATION and Animax. The new joint venture will begin operations on March 31, 2017.
"In addition to a treasured form of Japanese art and culture, Anime has grown to become a major cultural export with massive commercial appeal around the world. Combining the strengths of Sony's Animax with Mitsui's KIDS STATION will allow us to increase our production capacity and reach fans of all ages in Japan and around the world," said Takiyama.
"KIDS STATION and Animax have long delivered attractive Anime programs to the fans. We are delighted to form this partnership with SPEJ to further accelerate the growth of the both companies. Leveraging the collective capabilities of SPEJ and Mitsui, we will strive to build and grow new businesses around the globe to make continuous contribution to Japanese creative industry", said Nobuaki Kitamori, Executive Managing Officer, COO of IT & Communication Business Unit, Mitsui & Co., Ltd..
George Chien, Executive VP, Networks - Asia Pacific at Sony Pictures Television added, "Sony's Animax channels have a presence in 28 countries and our networks also have a strong and growing footprint in the kids space. By teaming our flagship Animax channel with Kids Station, we can leverage the popularity of their combined IP to accelerate growth in both our animated and kids businesses globally."
Japan's top pay-TV network, and the world's largest 24-hour network dedicated to anime, Animax is a multi-platform provider of unparalleled content from movies to original series. Animax offers a wide variety of anime programs from across the most popular genres including action, romance, horror, supernatural, sci-fi, comedy, and slice-of-life. Sony Pictures Television Networks operates Animax branded networks in 28 countries around the world.
Featuring popular and timeless masterpieces of Japanese animation like "Anpanman," "Pokémon," "Yo-Kai Watch," "Gintama," and many more, KIDS STATION broadcasts a wide variety of programs not only for children but also for their parents' generations. KIDS STATION is a must-see channel for all family members.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Mitsui's current assumptions, expectations and beliefs in light of the information currently possessed by it and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause Mitsui's actual results, financial position or cash flows to be materially different from any future results, financial position or cash flows expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors referred to above include, but are not limited to, those contained in Mitsui's latest Annual Securities Report and Quarterly Securities Report, and Mitsui undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.
This announcement is published in order to publicly announce specific facts stated above, and does not constitute a solicitation of investments or any similar act inside or outside of Japan, regarding the shares, bonds or other securities issued by us.