Japanese mobile content provider Zappallas has acquired a 5.99% share in film producer-distributor Nikkatsu.
Zappallas acquired 424,100 shares in Nikkatsu at a price of $4.46m (Y421.98m). The shares will be transferred on May 29.
The company said the deal would strengthen its video content and allow it to use characters from Nikkatsu properties. Zappallas previously created mobile sites for Nikkatsu films such as 2008’s Utatama.
Established in 2000, Zappallas was an early player in the mobile content market, developing e-commerce sites and horoscope services predominantly aimed at women.
Recent Nikkatsu productions include $30m box office hit Yatterman, directed by Takashi Miike. Nikkatsu also served as a production partner on the Death Note series with Nippon Television (NTV). Nikkatsu continues to acquire Japanese rights to foreign films with Che and Burn After Reading this year.
A significant number of shares in Nikkatsu, Japan’s oldest studio, have changed hands after its former parent company, Index Holding Group, sold a majority of it 71% share in the company earlier in the year.
Nikkatsu became an equity affiliate of NTV after the company bought a 34% share from Index in January, as reported on ScreenDaily. Other buyers have included Amusement Media Entertainment Group and Sky Perfect JSAT.
Nikkatsu recently bought back 9.95% of its own shares from Index before selling 6% to Zappallas. Nikkatsu plans to sell the remaining 3.95% to other partners.