Business

Imagica, Cool Japan Fund in venture to buy translation company SDI Media

Bloomberg

Imagica Robot Holdings Inc. is teaming up with Cool Japan Fund Inc., the government-backed promoter of Japanese cultural exports, and Sumitomo Corp. to acquire U.S. movie translation company SDI Media Group Inc.

The three Japanese companies will buy California-based SDI Media for $160 million from a unit of French bank BNP Paribas SA, Cool Japan Fund said Thursday.

They will set up a special-purpose company with Tokyo-based Imagica owning 50.1 percent, a separate statement showed.

Shares of visual media producer Imagica surged 19 percent at the close in Tokyo trading, the most since June 2011.

Cool Japan Fund — formed in 2013 by the government and more than 15 companies including Dentsu Inc. — is investing in enterprises and projects to promote cultural products from sushi to animation.

“SDI’s international network will open new markets and accelerate distribution of Japanese content around the world,” Cool Japan Fund said in the statement. The fund will hold 49.6 percent of the special-purpose company, and trading firm Sumitomo 0.3 percent, Imagica said.

SDI Media provides dubbing and subtitles around the world in more than 80 languages, according to its website. Its clients include 20th Century-Fox, Amazon.com Inc., Netflix Inc. and Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.

GCA Savvian Corp. was a financial adviser for the buyers, Yasushi Hashimoto, managing director of Cool Japan Fund, said at a briefing in Tokyo. He expects the deal will be completed in early April.

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