Universal Pictures International Entertainment (UPIE) is acquiring a majority stake in Japanese media conglomerate Dentsu's DVD company Geneon to create a home entertainment marketing and distribution entity in Japan.

The transaction is expected to be completed by early 2009. Under the terms of the agreement, Geneon will merge with UPIE subsidiary Universal Pictures Japan (UPJ).

UPIE will own 80.1% of the interests in the newly combined entity with Dentsu taking a 19.9% interest. Dentsu will remain a minority shareholder to support the joint venture. The price of the deal was not disclosed.

The new venture will market and distribute all Universal home entertainment content, including new release, catalogue and TV titles on DVD in Japan. It will also develop an expanded slate of local content for the Japanese market.

Until the merger is completed, both Geneon and Universal Pictures Japan will continue to operate their respective businesses.