Kadokawa Group Holdings has announced it will merge its publishing and film entities in a major restructuring of the media conglomerate’s operations.

Kadokawa Shoten Publishing and Kadokawa Pictures will merge on Jan 1, 2011. Kadokawa Pictures will effectively be absorbed by the publishing giant with film production and distribution activities run under the publishing banner.

A Kadokawa executive commented on the merger: “As a consolidated company we aim to provide film and visual contents unlike any other company can.”

Kadokawa is seen one of the pioneers of the “media mix” concept where novels, comics and other original properties are adapted across different media. Today, the territory’s most successful film releases tend to be based on existing contents. “Kadokawa’s strength is our ability to boost the value of our publishing properties and develop them acrossdifferent media, creating a ripple effect,” stated the executive.

Kadokawa is also one of Japan’s dwindling number of major foreign film buyers. Recent acquisitions include Nine,The Book Of Eli (both co-distributed with Shochiku) and the Twilight franchise. Kadokawa releases The Twilight Saga: Eclipse on Nov 13. How the merger will affect acquisitions, if at all, is still unclear.

The merger is part of a larger restructuring of the conglomerate. Amidst falling magazine circulations and ad revenues Kadokawa SS Communications and Kadokawa Marketing will be merged. There will also be further amalgamations across the group’s various digital publishing, contents streaming and SNS subsidiaries.

Kadokawa releases Akira Ogata’s Shikeidai No Elevator, a remake of Louis Malle’s 1958 thriller Lift To The Scaffold, on October 9.