4Kids Plans Sale of Major Yu-Gi-Oh! Assets to Firm Tied to Saban
posted on by Ko Ransom
Documents filed to the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday have revealed that North American anime distributor and Yu-Gi-Oh! anime licensee 4Kids plans to sell what they describe as "substantially all of [their] Yu-Gi-Oh!-related assets" to Kidsco Media Ventures LLC, a company that was incorporated on April 4, 2012, for ten million dollars. While Kidsco is incorporated in Delaware, the address listed in the documents for the company is identical to the address for the Saban Capital Group, an investment firm whose subsidiaries own the Power Rangers franchise and others, and contact emails listed for the company are also tied to the "saban.com" domain name. As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, an auction will be held for these assets if a qualified bidder appears, but as a "stalking horse bidder," Kidsco will enjoy bidding protections such as a fee that must be paid to them by a winning bidder.
The primary asset that will be acquired in the deal is what the documents refer to as the "Yu-Gi-Oh! Business," which is defined as "business relating to and commercial Use of Yu-Gi-Oh!, including the rights granted under the Yu-Gi-Oh! Grant Agreements, all other Purchased Assets relating to Yu-Gi-Oh!, The CW Block and [4Kids'] right to Use and profit from the foregoing and the Yu-Gi-Oh! Related Intellectual Property, the Yu-Gi-Oh! brand, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Productions."
The proposed sale also includes the sale of rights relating to the Dragon Ball Z series, including 52 episodes of the television show, as well as the company's rights relating to Dragon Ball Z Kai. The closing date for the sale described in the agreement is June 30, 2012.
4Kids filed for bankruptcy last year shortly after a lawsuit was filed by TV Tokyo, Nihon Ad Systems, and ADK. The suit reached an "amicable" settlement earlier this year, with ADK and TV Tokyo paying US$8 million to 4Kids.
Thanks to Liam and ravegrl for the news tips.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history