TV Asahi buys up animation shop

Company nabs majority stake in TV unit

TOKYO — TV Asahi announced Thursday that it has bought a majority stake in toon house Shin-ei Animation.

Shin-ei is best known for producing the long-running “Doraemon,” “Crayon Shin-chan” and “Atashinchi” series that air weekly on TV Asahi. Net on Wednesday acquired $28.5 million in Shin-ei shares, or 80%, boosting its holdings in the company to 90%. The network bought a 10% stake in Shin-ei in 2003.

The two companies plan to combine their respective strengths to develop toons and business opportunities on the Internet and abroad.

Founded in 1976, Shin-ei recorded $37 million in sales in the fiscal year ended in June.

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