On Monday April 4, 2011, Navarre Corporation announced that it has sold Funimation Entertainment for $24 million dollars. Funimation was sold to Gen Fukunaga (who is also the CEO of Funimation) and a group of several investors including John A Kuelbs, Darwin and Doug Deason (note this is not all of the investors but some of them). Navarre Corporation will continue to serve as Funimation’s exclusive distributor in the United States. It will also provide logistics and fulfillment services.
Therefore, you might be asking what all of this means exactly. Now I am not an insider in the anime industry, so most of what I am going to write is my own opinion in this matter. The phrase “the more things change, the more they stay the same” comes to mind.
Basically to sum up what this means is this:
1. Funimation is no longer owned by Navarre and is now owned by a group of investors one which is Gen Fukunaga one of the original founders of Funimation.
2. Navarre Corporation will still distribute their products, and still provide logistical and fulfillment services to Funimation.
So looking at it this it does not look like much has changed. Navarre is going to distribute their products. Funimation will still exist but as a company not under Navarre? Could this help Funimation in the long run? I think there is the potential to for Funimation to do well, now that there are some investors who have serious money behind them (how much of that money they are investing remains a mystery). Could this also hurt Funimation in the long run? There is always that potential for that to happen especially with some new faces controlling the group. Only time will tell if this goes in favor of Funimation or against them.