Gaga Communications chairman Tom Yoda has reached an agreement to finalise a management buy-out of the indie distributor from Japanese media and telecoms conglomerate Usen.

Under the terms of the deal, Yoda’s own company T.Y. Limited is acquiring a 55% stake in the company, while real estate company Kinoshita Group is purchasing the remaining 45% share.

Usen divested both its own 58.3% holdings in Gaga and 41.7% held by Usen-owned subsidiary Almex Inc.

As reported on Screendaily.com in May, T.Y. Limited and Kinoshita were granted rights to make the first offer in initial negotiations scheduled from May 12 to June 23. The deadline was extended to June 30, the day agreement was reached.

Kinoshita has long been rumoured to be making an entry into the film business – the company often sponsors film-themed radio shows and events and Kinoshita president Naoya Kinoshita is known to be interested in the industry.  

Yoda, who is also chairman of the Tokyo International Film Festival, became chairman of Gaga in December 2004, investing 17.3% in the company at the same time as Usen’s majority takeover and entrance into the movie business. Gaga became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Usen in October 2006.

Last July Gaga Communications halted production and acquisitions. Under president Yuka Hoshino, Gaga continues its distribution operations. Current releases include I Come With The Rain and Slumdog Millionaire.

Usen subsequently divested interests in VoD portals this year, with the latest sale being a full withdrawal from the film industry.