AMC Networks announced that it completed the acquisition of Sentai Holdings, which includes Sentai Filmworks licensing company and HiDIVE anime streaming service on January 5. The acquisition includes all of the member interests from Cool Japan Fund, Inc., which previously invested over US$30 million in Sentai Filmworks since 2019.
John Ledford, the founder of Sentai, stated that “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”. Ledford is continuing with his senior role.
Sentai’s brands include Sentai Filmworks and HiDive, but also Anime Network (cable subscription video-on-demand service) and Sentai Studios – localization and studio services. HiDIVE, which recently ended its partnership with now Funimation-owned VRV, offers a number of popular anime titles such as Made in Abyss and Akame ga Kill!.
AMC Networks is a global entertainment company. Their portfolio includes AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now, as well as AMC Studios, which is behind popular titles like The Walking Dead. AMC’s acquisition of Sentai is their first venture into the anime scene.
In September 2021, Funimation’s acquisition of Crunchyroll became official, increasing Sony’s presence in the anime streaming industry. Througout all this Sentai remained independent, although Sentai Filmworks had a partnership with Crunchyroll, aimed at distributing CR titles on home video, while HiDIVE partnered up with VRV.
Source: AMC Networks Official Website