The advertising and marketing company Dentsu has announced on Wednesday that it will transfer the majority ownership in its Geneon Entertainment home video subsidiary to NBC Universal's Universal Pictures International Entertainmnent (UPIE). UPIE has agreed to merge Geneon Entertainment with its own Universal Pictures Japan (UPJ), which handles operations in the country. The transfer agreement was signed on November 7, and the actual transfer is scheduled to take place at the end of the month. The merger of UPJ and Geneon will take place in February of next year, and the resulting company will assume a new name. UPIE will own 80.1% of the new company, while Dentsu will retain 19.9%.
Currently, Geneon Entertainment has 3.6 billion yen (about US$37 million) in capital, which is 100% owned by Dentsu. Geneon Entertainment President and CEO Sumio Kiga oversaw 178 employees as of the end of October. Pioneer had originally established the company in March 1981 to produce videos in the Laserdisc format. Dentsu acquired the majority of the outstanding shares in Pioneer Entertainment and renamed the company as Geneon Entertainment in 2003. Geneon has already been distributing Universal Pictures' DVDs in Japan since March of this year.