HomeNewsGaga Corp., Top Japanese Indie Film Distributor, Sold to Gaming Firm Genda

Gaga Corp., Top Japanese Indie Film Distributor, Sold to Gaming Firm Genda

Gaga Corporation, the leading Japanese indie film company, has sold a controlling share stake to Genda Inc., a major entertainment conglomerate that specializes in arcade gaming. Genda is buying a 78% share holding owned by Gaga chairman Tom Yoda’s T.Y. Limited company, which it will acquire on November 30, Variety is reporting.

Yoda will retain the outstanding 22% share holding in his own name. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

Yoda will stay on as Gaga’s chairman and representative director. However, a new management structure will also be implemented.

Sato Yuzo, the director and CCO of Genda, will become the representative director and president/CEO. Kataoka Nao, founder and representative director and chairman of the board at Genda, will become director of the board at Gaga. The movie distributor’s other senior management will remain unchanged in their positions, however.

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Gaga was founded in 1986. T.Y. Limited eventually became the company’s majority owner in 2009.

Besides being a distributor, the company also operates as a producer and sales agent. In the 15 years under Yoda’s management, Gaga has distributed seven Oscar Best Picture winners in Japan, including CODA and Everything Everywhere All at Once. The company has also released four Palme d’Or winners, including Shoplifters and Anatomy of a Fall.

Gaga is currently looking to further diversify its output by moving  into anime production, international co-production and gaming.

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It’s also looking to expand into “character businesses derived from anime through omnidirectional windows including digital platform.”

Gaga says that these ambitions are “perfectly matched” with those of Genda, which is working to become the world’s number one entertainment company. In particular, Genda intends to expand and strengthen its global entertainment content business.

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Gaga is now expected to play a key role in achieving those ambitions.

Launched only four years ago, Genda has made several acquisitions that led to it owning or operating approximately 260 amusement arcades, many under the GiGO brand. Its other acquisitions have led to it increasing its presence in cinema advertising, popcorn, character design and VR content development.

“Mr. Kataoka of Genda and I have established a close relationship since he became president and representative director of Aeon Entertainment in 2017. Exchanging business ideas and strategies, he seems to be inspired by my longtime experiences and networks in the entertainment business, including music, film, game, character, broadcast and manga,” Yoda said while discussing Genda’s acquisition of Gaga.

“Having perfectly-matched vision and values, we are very excited to work with Genda to generate synergies for both companies. For the 40th anniversary of Gaga in 2026, we will keep going full throttle with the multi-portfolio strategy with Genda,” the Gaga chairman added.

Aeon is one of Japan’s largest retail conglomerates. It operates supermarkets (Maxvalu), convenience stores (Ministop), hypermarkets (Jusco) malls and consumer credit firms as well as the Aeon Cinema chain.

Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.

Karen Benardello
Karen Benardellohttps://cinemadailyus.com
As a life-long fan of films and television shows, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic in 2008. Karen has since been working in the press in New York City, including interviewing film and television casts and crews, writing movie and television news articles and reviewing films and televisions series. Some of her highlights include attending such local events as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and New York Comic-Con, as well as traveling across North America to attend such festivals as the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has been a member of the Women Film Critics Circle since 2012, and the New York Film Critics Online since 2019.

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