KUALA LUMPUR: Japan’s leading entertainment content provider Kadokawa Corp,which has taken a 80% stake in Malaysian Art Square Group (ASG) via its Hong Kong publishing company Kadokawa Holdings Asia Ltd (KHA), has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with InvestKL, to help both parties expand their business into South-East Asia and the Middle East.
The ceremony also marked the rebranding of the acquired entity ASG, a publisher of comics and children’s books, to Kadokawa Gempak Starz (KGS).
In his opening speech, Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) chief executive officer Datuk Idris Jala said Malaysia was poised to capture a bigger slice of the global creative content industry, valued at US$10.1 trillion up to 2019, with Kadokawa’s entry into Malaysia.
The value is based on PricewaterhouseCoopers’ global entertainment and media outlook 2015 to 2019.
Idris said with Malaysia’s creative multimedia industry worth about RM18.7bil, the partnership would progress further to produce original content, focused on international markets.
“Both parties can leverage on their expertise and further monetise the production of animation, movies, games and merchandising as well as digitalisation of creative content,” said Idris, who witnessed the MoU signing ceremony between Kadokawa Corp chairman Tsuguhiko Kadokawa and InvestKL chairman Datuk Seri Michael Yam. Also present were KHA CEO Susumu Tsukamoto and InvestKL CEO Datuk Zainal Amanshah.
Meanwhile, Susumu said Malaysia “is an attrative hub to strategise its publishing and content business”.
With KGS as the development base for South-East Asia and the Middle East, the Kadokawa group aims to strengthen original content creation for Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia and Arab, as these language markets have potential growth.
Additionally, it would complement its market presence in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, while it expands in other regions.
KGS CEO Chris Yew said the company expected to tripple revenue with the tie-up, with more than 40% to be contributed by the overseas markets.
He said KGS intended to bring in 30% more comic creative talents over the next two years, while 200 more jobs would be created in the IT development and content space over five years.
On the type of investments InvestKL was eyeing next year and its target, Zainal said Kadokawa was an excellent example of the type of investments they were looking to seize. He did not want to disclose figures.
“The value of this relationship is great between a world-class company from Japan with our local company.
“There is huge intellectual property here and high skilled jobs that can be created with potential high export value,” he said, adding that Malaysia continued to be strong in terms of talent, ecosystem and connectivity that seemed to be attractive for the Asean markets.
Commenting on the outlook, he said different climate presented different challenges.
That said, Zainal stressed tremendous opportunities exist within Asean itself notwithstanding the Trans-Pacific Partnership that Malaysia was involved in.