On November 20, Production I.G. parent IG Port issued a press release stating that they are selling studio Xebec. The historic studio will be transferred to Sunrise, with the deal slated to close on March 1, 2019. The move will be made a month later, on April 1.
According to Animation Business Journal, Xebec has been running at a deficit. The fiscal 2018 fiscal year, which ended in May, showed a lost of 164 million yen ($1,450,041 USD) against earnings and sales of 1.785 billion yen ($15,785,075.37 USD). Though attempts were made to shore up revenues within the company, these actions were not successful, leading to the sale and divestiture by IG Port’s part.
The divestment is part of a greater initiative within IG Port, which aims to increase profits across the board, and strengthen the organization’s production strongholds.
Sunrise, meanwhile, eyes Xebec as a means to enhance their production capabilities. By fusing Sunrise’s planning and task-keeping teams with Xebec’s production departments, Sunrise aims to bolster their workforce in a time when animators are scarce in Japan.
Xebec was founded on May 1, 1995 and is headed by Nobuyoshi Habara. The studio has produced numerous fan-favorite shows through its history, including Martian Successor Nadesico, Love Hina, Fafner, and To Love-Ru. Most recently, the studio has produced produced anime properties for Future Card Buddyfight and BanG Dream!
Sources: Nikkei, Animation Business Journal