Pioneer Entertainment Inc. to Become Geneon

Sep 26th 2003
On October 1, 2003, Pioneer Entertainment (USA) Inc. (NYSE:PIO - News), the premier provider of Japanese anime in North America, will officially change its name to GENEON ENTERTAINMENT (USA) INC. On that date, Tokyo-based advertising giant Dentsu Inc., will acquire a majority of the outstanding shares of Pioneer Entertainment and its sister company, Pioneer LDC, Inc. Geneon, a new word combining "generate" and "eon," embodies Pioneer Entertainment's creative capabilities to produce new entertainment with eternal value. Mr. Yosuke Kobayashi will continue to serve as President of GENEON ENTERTAINMENT (USA) INC.
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"We have built a solid and respected reputation as a licensee among publishers, rights holders and anime producers in Japan," said Mr. Kobayashi. "With Dentsu as our new parent, we anticipate tapping into its global resources as well as our own to expand our anime offerings to the growing North American audience."

Recognizing the potential of Japanese animation in the U.S. marketplace, Pioneer Entertainment began licensing and distributing a variety of popular Japanese programming, including "Tenchi Muyo!," "Pokémon," "Dragon Ball Z" and "Armitage," among others, introducing anime programming to the American home viewing audience. Under Pioneer Entertainment's guidance, the launch and distribution of the "Pokémon" franchise became a phenomenon in itself, with sales exceeding 25 million units. The success of the series served as a testament to the foresight of the company and its licensing partners. The company has become a leading supplier of Japanese animation in the U.S., boasting a 36% share of the anime DVD market and an impressive library of titles that have been seen on large and small screens throughout North America.

Teaming with many of Japan's top production companies, including GONZO, Mad House and Production I.G, Pioneer Entertainment has served as a creative partner in developing several anime favorites, including "Armitage: Dual-Matrix," "Hellsing," "Strawberry Eggs," "SoulTaker" and "Fushigi Yugi Eikoden." In addition, the company licenses titles created by some of Japan's most popular and prestigious filmmakers and has entered the theatrical arena with strategically planned releases of motion pictures.

Committed to meeting the needs of the ever-changing global business environment, Dentsu has expanded its business far beyond the scope of the typical advertising firm, and into the arena of the entertainment business. In Japan, Dentsu has made investments in the production of Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" and "Princess Mononoke." The company's entertainment portfolio also includes Japanese distribution rights for "Lord of the Rings" and the television distribution rights for Buena Vista properties. Aggressively pursuing the production and distribution for animation television programming, the company is also seeking the overseas distribution and sales of Japanese animation franchises such as "Astro Boy" and "Kirby." The synergy created from Dentsu's acquisition of Pioneer Entertainment will result in the promotion of Dentsu's entertainment-related business and a strategic entry into the software content industry.

Pioneer Entertainment (USA) Inc. (www.pioneer-ent.com) is a full-service producer and distributor of entertainment software, including film, music, animation and television shows on VHS and DVD. Headquartered in Long Beach, Pioneer Entertainment is part of the Pioneer North American Group. Its parent company, Pioneer Corporation, is a leader in optical disc technology and a preeminent manufacturer of high-performance audio, video, computer and cable television equipment for the home, car and business markets. Pioneer Corporation focuses on four core business domains: DVD, display technologies, Digital Network Entertainment and components. Founded in 1938 in Tokyo, Pioneer Corporation and its affiliates employ more than 34,000 people worldwide. Its shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:PIO - News).

Dentsu Inc., founded in 1901, is the largest advertising agency brand and the fifth largest marketing and communications organization in the world. Based in Tokyo, Dentsu offers national, multinational and global clients the most comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services through its unique "Total Communications Services" approach. Dentsu has pioneered and set global standards for integrated communications, which in latter years have been adopted by a number of major international networks. The group has more than 6,000 clients and 14,447 full-time employees in both Japan and in its offices overseas. Consolidated billings (net sales) for fiscal term 02/03 were recorded at YEN1,692.9 billion. Dentsu is publicly quoted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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