Toshiba Corp. has announced the purchase of Amuse Pictures, the film and video distribution subsidiary of Amuse Inc.

Toshiba will acquire 67% of Amuse Pictures shares on April 1 and the remainder by October. Also, Amuse Pictures will transfer its 73.5% stake in Amuse Soft Sales, a video and DVD sales division, to Amuse.

Launched in 1990 by Amuse Inc., a media company who core business is talent management, Amuse Pictures has since distributed hundreds of titles on video, including Pulp Fiction, The English Patient and, more recently, Monsoon Wedding and Biohazard. In 1998 the company began a theatrical distribution division, which has handled both Japanese and foreign films. It has been instrumental in generating the current boom for Korean films, with such titles as Shiri, JSA, Volcano High and My Sassy Girl.

Toshiba, which had partnered with Amuse Pictures in acquisitions and DVD sales, intends to generate $84m (Y10bn) a year from its new film distribution business.

Meanwhile, Amuse intends to use the funds generated by the sale of Amuse Pictures to strengthen its contents business, including film production.

Under the Toshiba umbrella, Amuse Pictures will be able to expand its acquisitions of foreign films. Meanwhile, Amuse plans to partner with Amuse Pictures in distributing Amuse-produced films and other content.