Fifth Season Secures $225 Million Investment From Toho

The Japanese entertainment group takes a 25% equity stake in the studio behind “Severance” and “Eileen”

fifth-season-toho
Fifth Season and Toho logos

Fifth Season has secured a $225 million strategic investment from Japanese entertainment company Toho, Fifth Season co-CEOs Graham Taylor and Chris Rice and Toho president Hiro Matsuoka announced early on Monday.

The investment gives Toho a 25% equity stake in the company and, according to Fifth Season, empowers the company to continue expanding its broad slate of premium content, leveraging its uniquely integrated business ecosystem and collaborative partnerships with top creators and companies around the world, as well as its focus on inclusion and empowerment. CJ ENM remains Fifth Season’s majority owner, and Endeavor Group Holdings continues as a strategic shareholder.

The investment also creates opportunities for collaboration among CJ ENM, Fifth Season and Toho. CJ ENM and Fifth Season will work with Toho to both produce global content and participate in content produced in Japan, while Toho’s development and production executives will team with Fifth Season.

Toho is coming off the immense success of “Godzilla Minus One,” the 31st installment in the Godzilla franchise that debuted in U.S. theaters last weekend to an impressive $11 million. It has now amassed over $50 million worldwide on a budget of under $15 million. Fifth Season most recently released the Anne Hathaway drama “Eileen” and is in production on the second season of the acclaimed Apple TV+ series “Severance.”

Taylor and Rice said, “This investment is an excellent and unique opportunity to build on Fifth Season’s momentum and solidify our leadership in the global independent film and television space. Strategic partnerships are a core piece of our DNA, and we were deliberate in moving forward with a company as successful, storied, and aligned with our goals and values as Toho. With their collaboration, alongside that of the great partnerships with CJ ENM and Endeavor, Fifth Season is positioned better than ever to delight audiences around the world with an expansive slate of top-quality content.”

Matsuoka said, “We believe that this collaboration will be a significant step towards challenging the global market, not only in the field of animation where Toho has excelled, but also in the realm of live-action content. We are extremely grateful and excited to take on this challenge hand in hand with CJ ENM, which has been advancing into the global entertainment market from Asia, and Endeavor, a global sports and entertainment company. Crossing the ‘bridge’ between Japan and the world that will be built through this collaboration, we hope to see Japanese projects, intellectual properties, and content expand further into the global market.”

Fifth Season was advised on this transaction by The Raine Group, which acted as exclusive financial advisor, and O’Melveny as legal advisor.

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