Producer will invest money in project finance

TOKYO —  Toon producer Think Corp. plans to launch a limited liability partnership fund between April and June this year to raise coin from corporate investors.

Fund will start with Y2 billion ($17 million) with an investment period of seven to nine years.

Of this amount. Think will contribute $854,700 and a Japanese government financial org another $8.54 million. The remainder will come from private partners.

Think will invest the coin in project finance, with most of the coin going to toon production, and equity finance, with the main target being toon production houses and other toon related businesses.

“Most funds of this type invest in projects only,” explained Think producer Keisuke Inoue. “We believe that by investing in both animation productions and promising small animation studios we can better spread the risks, while increasing the opportunities for profitable synergies.”

Launched in 1988, Think began as a contents and event promotion company, but has since branched out into Web design, toon production, software development, copyrights management and business development and investment.

In 2006, under prexy Yuji Mori, Think launched Anime Innovation Tokyo, to produce 30-minute pilot toons by up-and-coming young animators. Coin came from private investors and the Tokyo government.

Seven pilot projects were presented at the Tokyo Anime Fair in February with a maximum of 20 skedded for selection by the spring of 2008. Once the pilot toons are completed, Think and its partners will develop them into TV series or feature toons.

Think executive producer Hiroaki Takeuchi also produced the pilot toon for helmer Michael Arias’ 2006 feature “Tekkon Kinkreet,” as well as the 2004 feature debut by toon wunderkind Makoto Shinkai, “The Place Promised in Our Early Days.”

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