Viz / ShoPro Merger Complete

Apr 4th 2005
MERGER BETWEEN TWO JAPANESE ENTERTAINMENT GIANTS COMPLETE

Announcing Viz Media!

San Francisco, CA, APRIL 4, 2005 — VIZ, LLC and ShoPro Entertainment,
Inc., two prominent North American based companies specializing in
Japanese content, announced the completion of their merger today to
form Viz Media, LLC (Viz Media), a groundbreaking new entertainment
company specializing in the production and licensing of animated
content for TV and theatrical distribution,publishing, home video
distribution, and consumer products. Viz Media, based in its new
location just two blocks from historical Fisherman's Wharf in San
Francisco, will leverage the unique collaboration, vision and ownership
of three global powerhouses in Japanese manga and animation, Shueisha
Inc., Shogakukan, Inc. and Shogakukan Production Co, Ltd. Viz Media
will be owned 40% by Shogakukan, Inc. and Shueisha, Inc. respectively,
and 20% by Shogakukan Production Co, Ltd.

The merger was a natural progression for VIZ, LLC and Sho-Pro
Entertainment, Inc., who have successively collaborated on many hit
properties including the wildly successful Inuyashaand Megaman NT
Warrior. As one entity, the new company will benefit from shared
resources and creative talent, and gain access to Japan's strongest
content, enhancing its ability to reach a wider audience.

Viz Media's mission is to enrich lives worldwide through the highest
quality entertainmentand unmatched storytelling.

“We are excited to continue expanding our business by developing
entertainment content across all available mediums for people of all
ages on a worldwide basis,” said Hidemi Fukuhara, President and CEO
ofVIZ Media. “Having the support and leveraging the combined assets of
three of Japan's largest and most respected content creators provides
Viz Media with a significant competitive advantage and will create
unlimited new opportunities for our company.”

Going forward, Viz Media will grow its business by working with its
parent companies to maximize their brands' exposure on an all rights
basis. Implementing a comprehensive brand strategy that effectively
bridges a range of media, including TV broadcast, publishing, home
video, licensing, consumer products and promotions, Viz Media aims to
become an industry leader worldwide for audiences of all ages.

About Viz Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ, LLC and ShoPro Entertainment,
Inc. recently merged to form Viz Media, LLC (Viz Media), one of the
most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga
publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content.
Owned by three of Japan's largest creators and licensors of manga and
animation, Shueisha, Inc., Shogakukan, Inc., and Shogakukan Production
Co., Ltd. (Sho-Pro Japan), Viz Media is a leader in the publishing and
distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North
America and a global licensor of Japanese animation. The company offers
an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and
SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs, audio soundtracks and
develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production,
television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and
promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages.

bookmark/share with:

Press Release archives

Around The Web