Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

BET Founder Robert L. Johnson to Buy Image Entertainment and Acorn Media to Form RLJ Entertainment

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 2, 2012 at 4:17PM

Black Entertainment Television founder Robert L. Johnson, chairman of RLJ Companies, has agreed to acquire home video distributor Image Entertainment and Brit DVD/streaming company Acorn Media Group. The new company will be called RLJ Entertainment, Inc; Johnson will serve as its Executive Chairman.
0
BET's Robert L. Johnson
BET's Robert L. Johnson

Black Entertainment Television founder Robert L. Johnson, chairman of RLJ Companies, has agreed to acquire 25-year-old home video distributor Image Entertainment and 28-year-old Brit DVD/streaming company Acorn Media Group. The new Los Angeles-based public company will be called RLJ Entertainment, Inc; Johnson will serve as its Executive Chairman.

California's Image Entertainment is "a leader in the urban, independent film, comedy, and horror genres," said Johnson in a statement. Image offers 3,700 exclusive DVD titles and approximately 350 exclusive CD titles in domestic release and more than 450 programs internationally via sublicense agreements; they release digital content through Netflix, Hulu and iTunes. “RLJ Entertainment will have a broad strategy for financial growth by providing content to all media platforms including broadcast and cable, DVD and Blu-Ray, digital downloads, and digital streaming."

Ted Green, Chairman and CEO of Image Entertainment, will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of RLJ Entertainment.

Silver Spring, Maryland company Acorn Media, which boasts a vast library of Brit TV series, and recently acquired a 64 percent stake in the Agatha Christie literary estate (40 television movies, 19 plays and more than 80 novels), will continue to be run by founder Peter Edwards, who will also serve as Vice Chairman of RLJ Entertainment. (TOH recently covered Acorn here).

Combined, the two media businesses would create one of the largest global indie distributors of digital and video content. Eventually, RLJ expects to trade shares of the new company on the NASDAQ Stock Market. More details from their press release:

Under the terms of the agreements, the holders of common stock of Image Entertainment will receive from RLJ Entertainment 2,139,000 shares of common stock of RLJ Entertainment and the holders of preferred stock of Image Entertainment will receive aggregate consideration of $22,600,000, which will be paid in cash and in the form of promissory notes to the holders of preferred stock of Image Entertainment. The shareholders of Acorn Media Group will receive $105 million in cash, 1,000,000 shares of common stock of RLJ Entertainment and warrants to purchase 1,000,000 shares of common stock of RLJ Entertainment. After the completion of the business combination, the current stockholders of Image Entertainment and Acorn Media Group will own approximately 11% and 5% of RLJ Entertainment, respectively, assuming no redemptions. The current stockholders of the Company will own approximately 74% of RLJ Entertainment, assuming no redemptions.

The business combination is subject to approval of the Company’s and Image Entertainment’s respective stockholders, as well as regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. Assuming these conditions are met, the business combination is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of this year.

This article is related to: DVD and VOD, DVDs, Television


E-Mail Updates