TV unit takes over 'Ultraman' creator

TV powerhouse TYO is taking over Tsuburaya Prods., best known for its classic “Ultraman” TV series and pics, the companies announced Wednesday.

TYO intends to restructure the 44-year-old Tsuburaya, which has fallen into critical condition after long years of ineffective family management, exacerbated by rising production costs.

The complicated buyout will begin next month via a share sale and swap that will see TYO acquire an 80% stake in Tsuburaya Enterprises, which in turn will own 68% of Tsuburaya Prods.

Tsuburaya Prods.’ board will resign, with the exception of prexy and chairman Kazuo Tsuburaya, and TYO will appoint replacements, beginning with TYO prexy Hiroaki Yoshida.

Founded by special-effects wizard Eiji Tsuburaya in 1963, shingle produced many classic tokusatsu (live-action f/x) shows for TV, most famously “Ultraman” and its many spinoffs about the alien warrior who protects the Earth from space monsters.

The TBS network will celebrate “Ultraman’s” 40th anniversary by broadcasting a new show featuring the latex-suited hero in October.

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