Anime News Network Inc. based in Quebec Canada has been acquired by KADOKAWA Corp of Japan. The acquisition was announced by ANN on their official website
ANN was first founded in 1998 focused on writing news pertaining to anime industry in English.
Kadokawa states their views about acquiring the company as, “Our decision to proceed with the acquisition is intended to further strengthen KADOKAWA’s global marketing efforts relating to the digital and physical products handled by BOOK☆WALKER Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo) which operates an English online ebook store (BOOK WALKER Global), YEN PRESS, LLC (Headquarters: New York, hereinafter “YP”) which engages in the comprehensive English publication of manga and light novels, etc. in North America, and J-Novel Club LLC (Headquarters: Texas) which engages in the English e-book publication of Japanese light novels and the operation of a digital subscription service platform among others in the English- speaking market. The transaction is contemplated to be pursued through the acquisition by a newly established company under KADOKAWA’s US holding company KADOKAWA WORLD ENTERTAINMENT, INC. (Headquarters: Delaware, hereinafter “KWE”) of all of the related business assets from ANN, scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. The transaction, its value is not disclosed, would have no material impact on KADOKAWA’s consolidated business results. Following the completion of the transaction, we intend to further expand of all of the group’s businesses in the English-speaking market by strengthening collaboration in promotion and other areas among each of the group’s aforementioned businesses.“
Christopher Macdonald, President of ANN will be appointed as the publisher of the new company stated that, “I am excited by this opportunity to work with Kadokawa and Kadokawa World Entertainment to dramatically improve Anime News Network during the course of the coming years. Myself and all of ANN’s staff remain entirely dedicated to the standards of professional, exhaustive, and editorially independent journalism that ANN is already known for and we believe that Kadokawa’s resources will be a great benefit to ANN’s journalism and our readers.“
He further added, “Anime News Network has agreed to be acquired by Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE) a US-based subsidiary of Kadokawa. All the technical legal stuff can be found in this press release here. But I wanted to make sure that the people most important to us, our readers, found out about this straight from us, and I wanted to share some of the most important details with you.
Above all else, the two things that were most important to me while discussing this project with Kadokawa were that ANN’s team remain unchanged and that ANN maintains its editorial integrity and independence.
Fortunately, Kadokawa themselves insisted that these were priorities for them as well. They want to invest in ANN because they support ANN’s mission and integrity, and have no interest in changing what makes ANN the internet’s most trusted anime news source.
I will personally remain ANN’s publisher, and our editorial independence is contractually guaranteed. Anime News Network has a long history of being editorially independent of both our largest advertisers, and our investors, and none of this will change.
There will also be no immediate changes to any part of ANN’s team, except for one senior executive who is retiring. All of our staff will otherwise remain unchanged, however we will be adding more staff in the near future, particularly in our web development department.
As part of this acquisition, KWE will be investing significantly in ANN’s software development. A number of new projects will be launched, and a number of projects that have been stuck in development for way too long will be prioritized.
As I wrote in the press release, “I am excited by this opportunity to work with Kadokawa and Kadokawa World Entertainment to dramatically improve Anime News Network during the course of the coming years. Myself and all of ANN’s staff remain entirely dedicated to the standards of professional, exhaustive, and editorially independent journalism that ANN is already known for and we believe that Kadokawa’s resources will be a great benefit to ANN’s journalism and our readers.”
Myself, and Bandai Namco Filmworks will remain minority shareholders in the new company that is being established to operate Anime News Network.“
He further tweeted that he is glad that KWE is taking over so that he can now focus on ANN the website and not ANN the company. He also stated that this is the 33% reason behind why he agreed for Kadokawa to take over the company.
Kurt Hassler, Chief Executive Officer of Kadokawa World Entertainment and Managing Director and Publisher of Yen Press, said, “For over twenty years, ANN has distinguished itself by providing a window of news and information about Japanese content and establishing a community where fans can interact and share their enthusiasm. This acquisition represents an opportunity not only for KADOKAWA to better and more effectively highlight its own content but to enhance ANN’s mission to grow the global audience for manga and anime as a whole while expanding the boundaries of what the site can offer users.“