The official website of Studio Ghibli revealed on Sep 21, 2023 that Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV) has acquired 42.3% shares of Studio Ghibli Inc. and made the latter it’s subsidiary.
The resolution was passed after Nippon TV and Studio Ghibli held their respective board of director meetings on the same day. An emergency press conference was then called to reveal this information.
As per the agreement, Nippon TV will respect the autonomy of Studio Ghibli and assist with the management of the company, while Studio Ghibli will continue to focus on the production of animated films as well as the operation of the Ghibli Museum and Ghibli Park.
“Managing (a company) is tough. We want to concentrate on production,” said Suzuki at the press conference.
This move, once completed, will make Nippon TV the largest shareholder in Studio Ghibli Inc.
The transfer of stocks is set to take place on Oct 6, 2023. Following the acquisition, Nippon Television’s Senior Operating Officer Hiroyuki Fukuda replace Suzuki as the new president of the studio. Suzuki will take up the role of the chair of the board, while Miyazaki will be the honorary chairman.
According to the press release on the official website, Studio Ghibli has faced a succession issue for quite some time now. Director Hayao Miyazaki is 82 years old and Producer Toshio Suzuki is 75 years old.
While Miyazaki’s eldest son, Goro Miyazaki, was put forth as a candidate to take over the studio, he has been adamant in his refusal to take over. Goro, who is an animation director himself, believed that the it would be difficult for him to run Studio Ghibli alone and that the future of the company would be better left to others.
As a result, the studio had been looking at various candidates to take over the management of the company. And last year Mitsukuni Sugiyama, Chairman and Executive Officer of Nippon TV, had a chance to sit down with Toshio Suzuki and have a conversation regarding this.
Suzuki put forth a proposition wherein Nippon TV would assist with the management of the studio while Studio Ghibli could continue focusing making movies. Sugiyama agreed to consider this proposal positively.
The board of directors’ meeting held on Sep 21, 2023 was a result of these ongoing discussions.
Both Ghibli and Nippon TV have a long-standing relationship.
The network has been broadcasting Studio Ghibli works through its film program “Friday Roadshow” since the first TV broadcast of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind in 1985.
Nippon TV has also supported Studio Ghibli, including providing financial support for the production of Kiki’s Delivery Service and the establishment of the “Ghibli Museum, Mitaka” in 2001.