Sentai Holdings, the parent company that includes anime distributor Sentai Filmworks as well as streaming service HIDIVE, has been purchased by AMC Networks.
That’s the company behind the channel AMC, best known for series like The Walking Dead.
The deal includes the holdings that Japan’s Cool Japan fund holds in Sentai.
“With strong industry relationships and access to key content creators in Japan, Sentai distributes and curates one of the anime industry’s most diverse libraries of top trending and classic titles, with its content available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Amazon Prime, among others,” says a statement from AMC, as quoted by Hollywood Reporter.
The HR also quotes Sentai founder John Ledford, who will stay with the company, as saying: “We are thrilled by AMC Networks’ acquisition and are excited to be a part of their growth strategy. This acquisition will not change Sentai’s mission to deliver the most exciting anime content to audiences around the world — it will expand it greatly and will give our content businesses more distribution, more partnerships, more scale and more reach.”
Sentai started life way back in 1992 as A.D. Vision, which included distributor ADV Films. They went defunct in 2009, but key players founded Sentai soon thereafter.
As a genius analyst for the Japan Times recently wrote, “Aside from a handful of independent licensors, the world of anime publishing in the West is now, for better or worse, in the hands of a few giant corporations.”
How will this latest acquisition will play out? We’ll find out in the coming weeks and months.