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FUNimation Sold to Navarre Corp.

Navarre Corporation will buy FUNimation Productions in a $100 million cash and stock deal announced by the companies today.

Navarre Corporation is a home entertainment distributor specializing in PC software, video games, CD audio and DVD video. FUNimation is a licensee, licensor and home video/DVD distributor and brand manager of Japanese animation and children’s entertainment in the United States. FUNimation-distributed properties include Dragonball Z, Dragonball GT, Yu Yu Hakusho, Case Closed and Fullmetal Alchemist.

“The completion of the FUNimation acquisition will be a continuation of the transformation of our company as it reflects the ongoing execution of our strategy to utilize the strong underlying asset of our distribution business to support and assist in the growth of our higher margin publishing business,” Eric Paulson, chairman and CEO of Navarre said in a statement. “FUNimation will bring new business skills of international licensing and brand development. With the signing of this agreement, we look forward to welcoming FUNimation to the portfolio of companies in our Publishing segment.”

“We are extremely excited to join the Navarre family of companies,” said Gen Fukunaga, president of FUNimation Productions, Ltd. “Utilizing Navarre’s capital structure and distribution efficiencies will aid FUNimation in its ongoing business.”

In 2003, Fort Worth-based FUNimation had pre-tax net income of $30.5 million on net sales of $81.6 million.

Navarre will issue between 1,495,216 and 1,827,486 shares of unregistered common stock in connection with the transaction. In addition, FUNimation’s current owners could receive up to $17,000,000 in cash to be paid over five years if FUNimation achieves certain agreed-upon financial targets during that time period.

The deal is expected to close before May 15, 2005.

[Source: Arrive.Net]

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