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Kadokawa Group Holdings (Kadokawa GHD) agreed on Wednesday to purchase Media Factory — a Recruit subsidiary that publishes manga, anime tie-in goods, and the magazine Da Vinci — from Recruit for 8 billion yen (about US$100 million). Kadokawa GHD intends to accelerate its consolidated content strategy for publishing and video distribution with this merger.
Kadokawa GHD will bring in all 168 employees of Media Factory, and it will also retain the company name. Media Factory President Toshiyuki Yoshihara will remain at his post.
Media Factory is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Recruit with 100 million yen (US$1.3 million) in capital. It was founded in 1986 as a spinoff of the company that is now Recruit Publishing. In the fiscal year ending in March of 2011, it had sales of 18.9 billion yen (US$246 million).
Media Factory publishes the manga magazines Comic Flapper, Monthly Comic Alive, and Monthly Comic Gene. It is also a prominent publisher of such light novel titles as Aria the Scarlet Ammo, Asobi ni Iku yo!, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Infinite Stratos, Kamisama Kazoku, Kämpfer, Kanokon, Mayo Chiki!, MM!, The Sacred Blacksmith, and others. It is a main distributor of the video releases and card games for the Pokémon franchise.
Kadokawa GHD is already the parent company of publishers Kadokawa Shoten, ASCII Media Works, Fujimi Shobo, and Enterbrain. In addition to several manga magazines, they publish the light novel labels Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko (Haruhi Suzumiya, Rental Magica), Dengeki Bunko (Toaru Majutsu no Index, Shakugan no Shana), Fujimi Fantasia Bunko (Full Metal Panic!, Seitokai no Ichizon), and Famitsu Bunko (Baka to Test to Shōkanjū, Bungaku Shōjo), respectively.
Update: More background information added.
Update 2: Zero no Tsukaima author Noboru Yamaguchi wrote on his Twitter account on Wednesday that he used to have foolishly childish fantasies (chūni-teki mōsō) about "a warrior of the small and weak Media Factory republic fighting the Kadokawa Empire with all his might," but he is somewhat sad that he cannot have those fantasies anymore. He then responded to fellow creator Kenji Inoue with how he imagines the other light novel labels are reacting to the news. [Via Yaraon!, Moe Ota-News Sokuhō]
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history