Image Entertainment, Acorn Media Become RLJ Entertainment3 Oct, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Image and Acorn cease operating as separate companies
RLJ Acquisitions Oct. 3 said it formally completed the $127 million acquisition of Image Entertainment and Acorn Media, creating publicly held RLJ Entertainment Inc.
The new company is headed by Ted Green, former CEO of Image Entertainment, while former Acorn CEO Miguel Penella, assumes the title of COO. Image, which is based in Chatsworth, Calif., and Washington, D.C.-based Acorn will continue at their existing locations operating under the RLJ Entertainment moniker.
Shares of RLJ Entertainment common stock will be traded on the NASDAQ capital market under the stock ticker symbol RLJE. RLJ Entertainment warrants will be traded on the over-the-counter bulletin board. The company expects that payments to holders of its shares of common stock that redeemed their shares will be made promptly following the closing of the business combination.
The merger was approved last month by Image’s and Acorn’s respective shareholders, making RLJ Entertainment one of the largest independent global distributors of digital and physical media content.
RLJ Acquisitions is headed by Bob Johnson, founder of BET (Black Entertainment Television), who holds the title of chairman of The RLJ Companies, including RLJ Entertainment, which is based in Bethesda, Md.
Johnson said he intends RLJ Entertainment to focus on exploiting Acorn’s British-centric content across all distribution channels, including recently launched Acorn TV. Separately, Johnson envisions mining Image’s 800 hours of urban content into a viable digital distribution platform.
“RLJ Entertainment’s goal is to become a preeminent distributor of content to all media platforms, including DVD and Blu-ray, digital downloads, digital streaming, and broadcast and cable,” Johnson said. “We are also committed as part of our business strategy, to leveraging our experience in acquiring, distributing, and monetizing content to create branded digital subscription channels over the Internet targeted to distinct audiences that are underserved by current media platforms and interested in programming that appeals directly to their unique viewing interests.”
Distribution channels include YouTube, whereby RLJ Acquisitions recently teamed up with Tracey Edmonds to launch a faith-based channel.