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Japan’s NTV to take over Madhouse

Pair will co-produce toons for international market

Tokyo — Nippon Television Network is to raise its stake in Madhouse from 10.4% to 84.5% and make the Tokyo-based toon house a subsid.

NTV said Tuesday it plans to buy $12.4 million in new shares issued by Madhouse.

Launched in 1972 mainly by staff from the Mushi Prods. toon house, Madhouse has turned out dozens of TV and feature toons, from the hit “Cardcaptor Sakura” series to the work of the late anime maestro Satoshi Kon and new sensation Mamoru Hosoda.

But it has been in the red for two quarters, with losses of $25.7 million in the current period. Like many Japanese toon houses it is facing a stagnating market at home.

As a subsid of NTV, it will have a stronger financial base, while the network will benefit from Madhouse’s production know-how and strong overseas reputation.

Together they plan to co-produce toons with international potential.

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