AT&T’s Crunchyroll buys majority stake in VIZ Media Europe

Crunchyroll mascot Hime. (Crunchyroll)

Crunchyroll, an anime streaming service run by Otter Media, which is part of AT&T’s WarnerMedia division, signed a deal to acquire a majority stake in VIZ Media Europe.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The companies said they still need to meet certain closing conditions, including antitrust clearances.

The companies said the deal will allow Crunchyroll's global platform to be combined with VIZ Media Europe Group's EMEA-wide network of partners, distributors and licensees.

"Crunchyroll and VIZ Media Europe Group will bring together significant expertise, capabilities, and dedication to grow and promote our respective licensed and original content," said Joanne Waage, general manager of Crunchyroll, in a statement. "We look forward to learning from and collaborating with our new colleagues in Paris, Lausanne and Berlin, so we can continuously create the most engaging experiences for anime and manga communities around the world."

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"Crunchyroll has helped enable anime to become a mainstay in popular culture, and we are committed to this growing category. This transaction between Crunchyroll and VIZ Media will combine one of the major anime brands ex-Asia with a well-known and beloved manga and anime distributor," said Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter Media, in a statement. "Together, we aim to create connections for passionate anime fans across Europe and beyond."

"We have built a large network in EMEA and beyond, expanding our manga and licensing expertise through multiple skills in various business lines: TV, DVD, Digital & Merchandising," said Kazuyoshi Takeuchi, CEO of VIZ Media Europe Group, in a statement. "Over the last decade, our team has shown a deep understanding of Japanese pop culture and adaptation within local markets, and I believe this relationship will strengthen our position and future growth, adapting to changes in the dynamic Japanese animation industry and global business climate."