Japanese conglomerate SojitzCorp has announced the purchase of a 17.94% stake in independent filmdistributor Klockworx for $1.33m (Y157m). Sojitz execs were dispatched to thecompany this month.

Sojitz, which already has agrowing library of animation contents for mobile phone distribution, sees theinvestment as a way to expand its content and methods of distribution throughKlockworx' specialty for acquiring high-quality foreign product. The indiedistributor has a well-established theatrical and video distribution network.

Future plans includeaugmenting Klockworx' investment in domestic films and internationalco-productions.

Klockworx, established in1997, has handled titles including TheBlair Witch Project (a co-release with Asmik Ace and Shochiku), Shaolin Soccer and documentary Super Size Me and is set to release TonyJaa actioner Tom Yum Goong on April22.

The company is also involved inproduction of domestic films such as Ryuhei Kitamura's Alive and foreign co-productions such as Vincenzo Natali's Nothing.

Listed company Sojitz Corp,which was established in 2004 following a merger between Nichimen Corp andNissho Iwai Corp, operates core businesses of machinery and aerospacetechnology, energy and mineral resources, and also has interests in real estate,foods and textiles.

Last October, Sojitzinvested $760 000 for a 35% stake in a joint venture with Index Corp (parentcompany of Nikkatsu and Madhouse) to handle foreign mobile content rightsthrough Index Global Rights Management.