Navarre Corporation was an American public distribution and publishing company founded in 1983 by Eric H. Paulson. The company was headquartered in New Hope, Minnesota. Navarre owned three subsidiary companies: a software publisher, Encore, Inc., a distributor, Navarre Entertainment Media and Japanese anime distributor, Funimation which was acquired in 2005 and divested in 2011 to founder Gen Fukunaga.

Navarre Corporation
IndustryMusic and film distribution and publishing
Founded1983; 40 years ago (1983)
FounderEric H. Paulson
Defunct2013; 10 years ago (2013)
FateShut down
  • Assets acquired by WYNIT Distribution LLC. Relaunched as Navarre Distribution in 2016
  • Funimation reacquired by Gen Fukunaga in 2011, later acquired by Sony Pictures Television
Greenville, SC, New York, NY
OwnerGeof Lewis and Peter Richichi
Number of employees
DivisionsNavarre Distribution
Funimation (2005–2011)

The company also offered niche films through BCI Home Entertainment a.k.a. BCI Eclipse Company (formerly Brentwood), but this division was closed in a 2013 re-structuring due to the recession, after two years of being unprofitable.

History Edit

The company was founded in 1983 by Eric Paulson.[1]

On November 21, 1989, Lieberman Enterprises (a subsidiary of LIVE Entertainment) announced that it would acquire Navarre for an undisclosed price.[2] The sale was completed on January 22, 1990, merging Navarre's computer products division into Lieberman.[3]

In 1991, the company was reacquired by Paulson and spun-off from Lieberman after Troy, Michigan-based Handleman Company acquired the company for $100 million.[4]

In 1993, Navarre Corporation started manufacturing software products, made its initial public offering (IPO) and becoming a publicly-traded company.[5][1]

In June 1994, Navarre and Digital Café announced the formation of Digital Entertainment, a company that develops CD-ROMs.[6]

In 1996, Navarre acquired a 50% stake in Net Radio, a company that produces radio programming to the Internet.[1]

In September 1996, Navarre invested former CBS Records chief executive officer Walter Yetnikoff's record label Velvel Records.[7][8]

In August 2002, Navarre acquired Encore, a company that develops and publishes computer software.[9]

On November 5, 2003, Navarre announced that it would acquire BCI Eclipse (formerly known as Brentwood Communications), a home video distributor for $15 million and BCI Eclipse later ceased its operations on December 17, 2008.[10][11]

In June 2005, Navarre determined that its financial statements for 2004, and the first and third quarter of 2005, should be restated, because expenses related to the incentive-based deferred compensation of the company's CEO was recorded in the wrong quarter.[12] In 2016, Navarre Distribution relaunched to provide audio and film distribution to labels and artist globally.

Acquisition and sale of Funimation Edit

On January 11, 2005, Navarre announced that it would acquire Funimation Productions, an anime licensing company.[13] The sale was completed on May 11, 2005.[14] After the sale, Funimation Productions changed its name to Funimation Entertainment. Then, in April 2011, Navarre sold Funimation to a group of investors including Funimation co-founder Gen Fukunaga.[15]

Speed Commerce and aftermath Edit

On September 28, 2008, Dallas-based SpeedFC agreed to merge with Navarre for $50 million in cash and stock. The merger closed in 2013; the company changed their name from Navarre Corporation to Speed Commerce afterward.

On July 9, 2014, Syracuse, NY based Wynit Distribution LLC acquired the majority of the assets of Navarre Distribution Services and Encore from Speed Commerce. Since then, the Navarre name has been retired.

Funimation, which was sold by Navarre in 2011, was later acquired by the Japanese conglomerate Sony in 2017 by owning a 95% stake in the company through its Sony Pictures Television division and later reorganized through a joint venture between Sony Pictures and Sony Music Entertainment Japan's Aniplex, but the company would be subsequently renamed to Crunchyroll, LLC after acquiring the streaming service of the same name in August 2021.[16][17][18][19]

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c "History of Navarre Corporation". FundingUniverse. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  2. ^ "Lieberman Enterprises to acquire Navarre Corp". United Press International. November 21, 1989. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  3. ^ "Live Entertainment Subsidiary Buys Navarre". Los Angeles Times. January 23, 1990. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  4. ^ "COMPANIES". Los Angeles Times. June 26, 1991. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  5. ^ "Equity Issues This Week". The New York Times. December 13, 1993. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  6. ^ "New Firm Marks Navarre's CD-ROM Bid". Billboard. June 25, 1994. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  7. ^ "VelVel's Yetnikoff Links Indie Label With Navarre". Billboard. September 14, 1996. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  8. ^ "COMPANY TOWN ANNEX". Los Angeles Times. September 4, 1996. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  9. ^ "Navarre Corporation Acquires Encore Software, Inc" (Press release). Navarre Corporation. August 5, 2002. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  10. ^ "Navarre's Acquisition of BCI Is 'First of Many Come'". Billboard. November 22, 2003. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  11. ^ "Navarre Shutters BCI Eclipse Unit". iCV2. December 18, 2008. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  12. ^ "Navarre Corporation Reports Financial Results for Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2005". Archived from the original on October 18, 2013.
  13. ^ "Navarre To Acquire FUNimation". Animation World Network. January 11, 2005. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  14. ^ "Navarre Corporation Acquires [Funimation], and Provides Financial Update and Guidance" (Press release). Navarre Corporation. May 11, 2005. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  15. ^ "Navarre Corporation Announces Sale Of FUNimation Entertainment". GLOBE NEWSWIRE. April 4, 2011. Archived from the original on April 7, 2011. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  16. ^ Ressler, Karen (July 31, 2017). "Sony Pictures TV to Acquire Majority Stake in Funimation". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on August 1, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  17. ^ "SONY PICTURES TELEVISION NETWORKS TO ACQUIRE SUBSTANTIAL MAJORITY STAKE IN FUNIMATION". Sony Pictures. July 31, 2017. Archived from the original on July 13, 2020. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  18. ^ Spangler, Todd (September 24, 2019). "Sony Merges Anime Streaming Businesses Under Funimation-Led Joint Venture (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  19. ^ Mateo, Alex (August 9, 2021). "Sony's Funimation Global Group Completes Acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 9, 2021.