Nippon Television acquires iconic animation company Studio Ghibli

Nippon Television Holdings shares

rose sharply Friday morning following its plan to acquire shares in Studio Ghibli to make the animation powerhouse a subsidiary.

The shares were recently 12% higher at 1,544.0 yen ($10.46) after rising as much as 22% earlier.

Nippon Television said Thursday after market close that it would become the largest shareholder of the studio behind “Spirited Away” and other popular anime movies, holding 42.3% voting rights, and would send directors to the board of Studio Ghibli to support its management.

Nippon Television’s Senior Operating Officer Hiroyuki Fukuda will become president of Studio Ghibli, the company said.

Succession plans at Studio Ghibli, founded by well known Japanese animator, filmmaker, and manga artist Hayao Miyazaki, have been an issue. Miyazaki is 82 years old.

The Japanese media company said it would respect the studio’s autonomy in the production of films.

It plans to buy shares of Studio Ghibli from individual shareholders for an undisclosed sum.

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