Navarre Corporation has announced on Thursday that it has hired the investment bank Houlihan Lokey "to assist it in structuring and negotiating a potential transaction for the sale" of its Funimation anime arm. The plans may not result in an actual sale.
So it's funny they basically used Funimation to pull themselves out the hole and now want to sell off the company while it's at its peak. Could be a good or bad thing depending on who wants to buy it. So much for Overlord Gen taking over the company.
That would be horrible. Say goodbye to dubs forever!
Sentai doesn't release titles sub-only because they hate dubs. They do it because many of the titles in their catalog do not have enough sales potential to warrant the added cost. Something like Tayutama or Samurai Harem is very unlikely to move the 5000+ units needed to cover production of a dub. A lot of the titles in Funi's catalog would be able to. However, I would seriously doubt they would have any reason to keep Funi's dubbing studios open, when they already have their own. Regardless, it's a mute point, as this is about as unlikely to happen as Lion's Gate buying Warner Brothers.
Anyway, this news doesn't surprise me at all. Funimation just doesn't fit into Navarre's business model, especially with BCI now out of the picture. Their main business has always been software sales and distribution, and they have done a lot more of that than they have ever done with the DVD publishing end of their business. Not to mention, the software sector has a slightly brighter future than physical media sales.
The funny thing is I keep reading comments like "I thought Funimation was Navarre's biggest and most profitable division", "I thought it made up like 80% of the company," or "I thought Funimation was their only profitable division." I take it a lot of people don't read the earnings reports that Navarre puts out which show their publishing business has been in decline for some time. They also quite easily show that their publishing division only does a fraction of the revenue of their software and distribution businesses.
I guess people don't like to read and skip straight to commenting. Oh wait, I forgot. This is the internet. That's what it's for.
Funimation is still doing their PR song and dance about this ,but the words "meets expectations" to me mean they just broke a slight over even and are now leaning more towards a drain with their new plans. We want to throw them off the side of the ship before they take us down with them. Hopefully a new Magical Mermaid can save them from the sharks that are circling ,but if not maybe one of those sharks will help them out.
Seriously though you don't start looking for someone to buy something if its still working so it really begs the question "What is broken and how bad?". I know the answer ,but I don't feel like being anything except sarcastic and slightly amused about all this. Feel sorry for people that work there if the sell off gets them fired , loses the VA's work ,and the loss it would bring of One Piece ,but for Funimation as a company. I can't really cause a lot of their practices piss me off. Every company does something that pisses me off ,but Funimation seems to do more then the rest.
With all of this I just said do I really want something to happen to Funimation? NO, because while I have my problems with them they do at a certain level help keep Anime from being a completely niche market. While in the end that could be a good or bad thing to some. To me its good because it keeps it out there so maybe some curious soul will try out one of the other flavors. (Flavors in this case being the other companies.) In the end Funimation has made a lot of the same mistakes others that are either gone or in a new lesser shell did. You have to wonder are all this those mistakes catching up to them?
Last Edit: 3 years, 10 months ago by psychopuppet.
This is the same thing I've been thinking. The only thing that separated Funimation from ADV is the fact that they had licenses like DBZ, Afro Samurai, and FMA. ADV had some big titles at times, but they were often shorter series like Evangelion and Full Metal Panic, and a 13 or 26 episode series cannot compete with a long series like DBZ or one with a cable run and big stars attached like Afro.
If you look at their business plans, there are nearly identical. They even both launched anime channels. Funimation even later changed it's approach to mimick Anime Networks by focusing largely on VOD. The only difference in their businesses is that Funi never had manga or music divisions.
People can talk all they want about Funi's planning and business savvy, but in the end, they're an entertainment company. The success of their business will ultimately depend on the properties they produce and license.
Funimation is the only Anime company that didn't get kicked under the table in the past few years. The news that Navarre wants to sell Funimation so they can can both expand. With anime/Manga companies still downsizing and closing, it just makes me a wonder.
In an interview with ANN, Funimation CEO Gen Fukunaga said that his company anticipates that its parent company Navarre would continue to handle back-end distribution for Funimation — even after the possible sale of Funimation that Navarre is considering. Fukunaga also downplayed the speculation that the original owners of Funimation — Fukunaga himself and the Cocanaugher family in Texas — might be buying the company back from Navarre. Fukunaga said, "That's pretty unlikely because we've got all sorts of other investments now, and we'd have to sell everything else we've invested in […]."
Fukunaga added that Funimation plans to announce its first co-production in the next few weeks. Funimation revealed its new co-production initiative last November, and Navarre said on Thursday that a new owner would help Funimation expand in "co-productions of original anime content, social networks, and digital broadcasting." Fukunaga explained that the co-production initiative is developing projects based on titles that are already well-known in the United States. He added, "What we'll do is take a famous United States brand that already has a big fanbase."
I think people seem to forget that before Navarre bought them Funimation was not looking to good. Funimation really did not start to look good until Geneon went under , ADV started to wobble on its unicycle , and Bandai Entertainment started to get a long shaft from Japan. Without those Funimation swoop in like a vulture on a fresh carcass. Then started to make it look like they cared about all fans. After a while most of us started to see some of the true colors coming through. Thankfully by that time ADV became S23 and Media Blasters had started to pop in with some good stuff. Shame it was so easy for some to turn a blind eye.
Social Networking? That's what they're worried about? That idea is gonna crash and burn. I don't think it's good that this kind of change is coming to Funimation, they have put out a few good titles, but maybe they've got some good plans that'll help float it out.
I wonder what the new Social Networking page would look like. Everything I have been reading lately is about them getting into Social Networking. How Adam on the Funimation blog said he is "stepping down from running conventions and events for FUNimation to manage the marketing on our new social site coming soon". How big is the thing? It kinda sounds like they are building a mini Facebook.