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Kadokawa buys into Gempak Starz, eyes KL as creative hub

KUALA LUMPUR, 10 December 2015 -  Japanese entertainment content provider Kadokawa Corp today signed a memorandum of understanding with InvestKL to position Greater KL as its creative content hub and to help expand its reach into Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

This comes after Kadokawa Corp, through its Hong Kong subsidiary Kadokawa Holdings Asia Ltd (KHA), acquired an 80% stake in KL-based Malaysian Art Square Group (MSG), a comics and children’s books publisher best known for its Gempak Starz brand.

In line with acquisition, MSG will be rebranded Kadokawa Gempak Starz in January 2016.

Kadokawa Corp chairman Tsuguhiko Kadokawa said: “We aim to position Kadokawa Gempak Starz as our development base for Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

“Priority will be given to strengthen original content creation for Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia and Arabic language markets, which are promising markets with significant growth potential.”

He added that this strategy will complement its existing market presence in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong and accelerate its overall global.

Speaking on the company’s plan for Kadokawa Gempak Starz, he said: “Our plan is bring our entertainment content creation expertise to produce animated versions of these titles (X-Venture and Candy Series) to further increase the popularity of the series, maximise book sales, facilitate merchandising and strengthen overall export to the Bahasa Indonesia, Arabic, Mandarin and English speaking markets outside of Malaysia.”

He further said that Kadokawa Corp is keen to help develop more creative talent in Malaysia, and is looking at the possibility of setting up a school to develop more content creators including comics, manga and animation.

Meanwhile, speaking at the signing ceremony, InvestKL chief executive officer (CEO) Zainal Amanshah said: “Kadokawa Corp’s entry into Greater KL is a potential game changer for the creative content industry. We are now poised to capture a bigger slice of the global industry, valued at US$10.1 trillion (RM43 trillion) up to 2019.”

He hopes that the production of animation, movies, creation of games, merchandising and the digitalisation will encourage the setting up of support industries, boost creative education and the creation of high value jobs and promote tourism, to further KL’s proposition as the launch pad for creative content industries into Asia.

Besides Kadokawa and Zainal, others who witnessed the signing ceremony were InvestKL chairman Michael Yam, KHA CEO Susumu Tsukamoto, Pemandu CEO Idris Jala, and Japan Embassy deputy chief of mission Yoshinori Kodama.
Source : KINIBIZ Online