We've said it before and we'll say it again: Movable Type's future lies in Japan. Today it was announced that Six Apart KK (SAKK), a subsidiary of SAY Media, has been acquired by a Japanese IT company called Infocom. As of February 1, 2011 SAKK will assume responsibility for the worldwide Movable Type business, as well as the Six Apart brand. 

What This Means

The official announcement of the transaction was translated from Japanese to English, so in case you've seen it and are sitting there scratching your head, here's a breakdown of what the deal basically means for all you customers:

For existing Movable Type customers, Six Apart KK will continue to provide support and services through the partnership they have with 601am, a US services company. They will continue to sell Movable Type licenses through the Movable Type website, and host the community around the Movable Type Open Source project.

As for TypePad customers, nothing changes. SAY Media continues to own, operate and invest the TypePad blogging platform. 

Troubled Times

The news follows a series of unfortunate events in the Six Apart circle, including Anil Dash's departure, the death of Vox, and a report from Bobbie Johnson of GigaOM which stated:

According to merger documents shown to me by a source, Six Apart’s finances had become so bad that it was even forced to ask VideoEgg for a $2 million loan just to help it stay afloat while the deal was prepared.

A few highlights if the 100+ page document include:

  • The US$ 2 million loan from VideoEgg was to help Six Apart pay “liabilities and operating expenses” until the official merger announcement. Johnson noted that this "goes beyond third-party expenses, and presumably included cash for items such as salaries."
  • The merger agreement reduces the purchase value of Six Apart each day until the deal is completed
  • VideoEgg and Six Apart shareholders will take a 72/28 split of Say Media.

"All in all, the files make for a depressing read…” added Johnson.

The Future

Who knows what the acquisition means, really. After all, Movable Type has been notoriously tight-lipped on almost all accounts (we can't blame them), and so we expect the same to hold true for anything related to Infocom. 

If you're a Movable Type customer or fan, you can check out more information about your new caretaker here