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Bandai Namco Film Works to Integrate Subsidiary SUNRISE BEYOND in Strategic Merger

Merger set for April 2024 aims to consolidate animation production and enhance Bandai Namco's position in the evolving anime industry
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Bandai Namco Film Works, a key player in animation and video within the Bandai Namco Group, has announced plans to absorb and merge with its animation production subsidiary, SUNRISE BEYOND. Official statements were released on January 9, 2024, on their respective websites, setting the merger date for April 1, 2024.

This move represents a significant consolidation in Bandai Namco Film Works’ business structure. Initially restructured in 2022 to encompass anime planning and production, the merger will lead to the complete absorption of SUNRISE BEYOND, resulting in the disappearance of the ‘SUNRISE’ name from the subsidiary level.

SUNRISE BEYOND was established in March 2019 as a subsidiary of Sunrise, following the acquisition of the animation production division of Xebec, which was part of the IG Port group. Xebec, established in 1995 as a subsidiary of Production IG, has produced notable works like “Mobile Battleship Nadesico,” “Fafner in the Azure,” and “Break Blade.” Despite a history of successful productions, Xebec struggled financially, leading to a reorganization in 2019, with SUNRISE BEYOND taking over the production role.

Since becoming SUNRISE BEYOND, the studio has continued to produce popular titles such as “Kyoukai Senki” and “Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE.” In 2022, the studio moved to the White Base in Ogikubo, aligning with Bandai Namco Film Works’ production base. This relocation marked a step towards greater management unification, culminating in the upcoming merger.

Bandai Namco Film Works has expanded its reach beyond animation production, involving itself in rights management and secondary business development. The company’s portfolio includes subsidiaries like Bandai Namco Pictures and Actus, and investments in studios like Sublimation, studioMOTHER, and Anima.

The merger and expansion of major anime companies reflect the dynamic changes within the anime industry. This strategic integration of SUNRISE BEYOND into Bandai Namco Film Works is poised to be a key development in the future trajectory of the Bandai Namco Group, signaling a stronger, more unified presence in the global anime market.

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