TOKYO — Multiplex operator T Joy has bought a 50% stake in anime production house Lateruna from parent company Toei Animation for 200 million yen ($1.85 million). T Joy is also part of the Toei Group.

T Joy plans to produce toons for the TV and theatrical markets, as well as raise coin through a contents fund.

Launched in 2000, T Joy shareholders include Toei, Toei Animation and Tokyo Recreation among its shareholders. Sales for the 2006 fiscal year, ending in March, amounted to $74 million.

Lateruna was launched by Toei Animation in July 2006 as a wholly owned subsid to develop toons and character goods for teens and young adults. Its credits include the direct-to-video toon “Re: Cutie Honey.”

Toei Animation, which has long specialized in toons for kids, has been moving into this market itself, however, prompting the share sale to T Joy, which plans to broaden its business base by moving into contents production.

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Toei Animation retains a 30% share in Lateruna, Toei Video owns 15% and Toei Agency owns 5%.