Dentsu, Mitsubishi Establish Anime Business Alliance

Jun 6th 2006
Dentsu and Mitsubishi Corporation Establish a Business Alliance Involving the Production, Sale and Rights Management of Japanese Animation

TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 6, 2006--Dentsu Inc. (President: Tateo Mataki; Head Office: Tokyo) and Mitsubishi Corporation (President: Yorihiko Kojima; Head Office: Tokyo) announced today that they will form a business alliance encompassing the production, sale and rights management of Japanese animated works in Japan and globally. The main points of the business alliance are as follows.

Dentsu and Mitsubishi Corporation have, up to now, pursued independent business operations involving the sale and rights management of Japanese animated works, both directly and through their respective subsidiaries. Against a background of worldwide popularity enjoyed by Japanese animation in recent years, Dentsu and Mitsubishi Corporation have decided to embark on a strategic business alliance in this field, beginning with the specific transactions outlined below. Dentsu brings to this partnership significant capabilities in content and creative production in Japan, while Mitsubishi Corporation has built a strong track record in the export of Japanese animated works, particularly focusing on children's animation. Through this alliance, the partners aim to build an integrated business model focusing on all areas related to the animation businesses, from production to global sales and rights management. Simultaneously, they will strive to accelerate the development of high-quality works, in an effort to expand the business in Japan and internationally.

In addition, the partners have agreed to actively cooperate in developing businesses that utilize such new media as the Internet and mobile devices. As broadcast media rapidly diversify, the two groups intend to develop their partnership based on a long-term, multifaceted approach.

Establishment of Joint Investment Fund Specializing in Japanese Animation

Dentsu, its consolidated subsidiary Geneon Entertainment, Inc. (President: Sumio Kiga; Head Office: Tokyo) and Mitsubishi Corporation subsidiary d-rights Inc. (CEO: Toru Itabashi; Head Office: Tokyo) will establish a joint investment fund specializing in projects relating to the production of Japanese animated works. The fund will aim to develop works capable of expanding the businesses in Japan and in global markets, particularly North America. The fund will be capitalized at 2.0 billion yen, with Dentsu contributing 30%, Geneon Entertainment, Inc. 20% and d-rights 50% of this amount.

Concurrent with the establishment of this investment fund, the three companies will set up a joint investment committee, and based on its recommendations the fund will invest in 15 to 20 works per year. The partners will then collaborate in developing sales and rights management businesses for the works in Japan, North America and other international markets.

For its first selection, the investment committee plans to choose "Guardian of the Sacred Spirit," (production: Production I.G Inc.; planned to be broadcast on NHK in Spring 2007), currently a popular piece of children's literature. The committee also intends to promote the work in Japan and internationally from 2007.

New media, including the Internet and mobile devices, are expected to be used extensively in the development of works targeted by the fund.

Capital Participation by d-rights Inc. in Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc.

Dentsu and Mitsubishi Corporation have agreed to make Dentsu subsidiary Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc. (President: Eiji Orii; Head Office: Long Beach, California) a joint venture between Dentsu and d-rights. Geneon Entertainment (USA) is involved in the planning and distribution of entertainment content in the United States, focusing primarily on Japanese animation. Dentsu and d-rights plan to cooperate closely in the management of this company. Pursuant to Geneon Entertainment (USA) becoming a joint venture, d-rights will acquire a 34% equity stake in the company from Dentsu, and nominate two members of its board of directors.

In addition to undertaking sales activities in the United States of works developed through the joint investment fund, Geneon Entertainment (USA) will also aggressively develop these works for use in such new media as the Internet and mobile devices.

Concurrently, Geneon Entertainment (USA) will carry out marketing activities for works related to the fund, with the aim of developing successful businesses based on these works in the North American and global markets.

Outline of the Japanese Animation Joint Investment Fund
Investment Ratio: Dentsu Inc. 600 million yen (30%); Geneon
Entertainment Inc. 400 million yen (20%); d-rights
Inc. 1 billion yen (50%)
Establishment Date: June 6, 2006

Outline of the Sale of Shares in Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc.
Ratio of Voting Rights of the Shares to Be Sold: 34%
Shareholding Ratio Subsequent to the Sale: Dentsu Inc. 66%;
d-rights Inc. 34%
Date of Share Transfer: June 6, 2006

Profile of Dentsu Inc.
Company Name: Dentsu Inc.
Date Established: July 1, 1901
Capital: 58,967.1 million yen
President & CEO: Tateo Mataki
Location: 1-8-1, Higashi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Principal Business: Full-service advertising

Profile of Mitsubishi Corporation
Company Name: Mitsubishi Corporation
Date Established: April 1950
Capital: 197,800 million yen (as of March 2003)
President & CEO: Yorihiko Kojima
Location: 3-1, Marunouchi 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Principal Business: General trading company

Profile of Geneon Entertainment, Inc.
Company Name: Geneon Entertainment, Inc.
Date Established: March 1981
Capital: 3,600 million yen
Shareholder: Dentsu Inc. (100%)
President & CEO: Sumio Kiga
Location: Arai Bldg., 1-20-6, Ebisu-minami, Shibuya-ku,
Tokyo
Principal Business: Planning, production and distribution of
entertainment content

Profile of Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc.
Company Name: Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc.
Date Established: March 1980
Capital: 14,808,000 U.S.dollars
Shareholder: Dentsu Inc. (100%)
President & CEO: Eiji Orii
Location: 2265 E. 220th Street, Long Beach, CA 90810, U.S.A.
Principal Business: Planning, production and distribution of
entertainment content in the United States

Profile of d-rights Inc.
Company Name: d-rights Inc.
Date Established: December 1988
Capital: 80 million yen (as of March 2003)
Shareholder: Mitsubishi Corporation (100%)
CEO: Toru Itabashi
Location: 4F, Suitaya Bldg., 2-8-4, Kanda-tsukasa-cho,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Principal Business: Entertainment content production; rights
management; advertising, promotion and marketing;
planning and sale of exclusive merchandise through
convenience stores

Background of "Guardian of the Sacred Spirit"

Production I.G Inc., one of Japan's most celebrated production houses, and responsible for such worldwide hits as "Jin-Roh" and "Innocence," is also responsible for "Guardian of the Sacred Spirit." The animation is a new Asian high fantasy directed by Kenji Kamiyama, one of Japan's top young directors who has also directed the million DVD seller, "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex."

About Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc.

A leading supplier of Japanese animation in North America, GENEON ENTERTAINMENT (USA) INC. (www.geneonanimation.com) is a full-service producer and distributor of entertainment content including film, music, animation and television shows on DVD, UMD and CD. Continually introducing new and classic anime and live-action programming, as well as anime CD soundtracks, the company also serves as a creative partner to many of Japan's top anime production companies. Additionally, Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc. distributes critically acclaimed musical performances on DVD and CD from renowned artists. Headquartered in Long Beach, California.

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