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Image Entertainment Bows New Management Team



By : Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 12 Jan 2010


Image Entertainment Jan. 12 announced the formation of a new management team, spearheaded by home entertainment veteran Ted Green as chairman and CEO of the Chatsworth, Calif.-based distributor.

Green is part of new five-member board brought on following the closing Jan. 11 of a $22 million preferred stock sale to San Francisco investment group JH Partners LLC, which assumed control of the company.

New COO/CFO John Avagliano and producer John Hyde as vice chairman join Green, in addition to Patrick Collins and Michael John from JH Partners.

All members of Image’s board prior to the preferred stock sale, including chairman and founder Martin Greenwald, Robert McCloskey, Gary Haber, Ira Epstein, and M. Huxley, resigned.

Green, who held senior executive positions with Anchor Bay Entertainment and Sony Wonder (a unit of Sony BMG Music Entertainment), replaces Jeff Framer, long-time CFO and president following the departure last year of David Borshell.

Framer, along with about 100 employees, remains employed by Image as the new management team conducts an across-the-board review of operations and internal structure, according to Green.

“The company really hasn’t been properly capitalized for a number of years,” he said.

Indeed, following two failed merger attempts, and a year in which U.S. private equity fund-raising fell 68%, according to figures from Dow Jones LP Source, Image desparately needed the lifeline offered by JH.

“Hopefully, we will provide the proper capitalization and economic structure that this company clearly needs," Green said.

Hyde’s motion picture and television production credits include The Neverending Story, Short Circuit, Das Boot and “The Simpsons.” He also is vice chairman at The Jim Henson Co.

Avagliano was previously president of Britannia Holdings, a financial management company catering to the film, video and apparel industries.

Image, which experienced success marketing cast-driven, below-the-radar feature films such as Management, with Jennifer Aniston, Woody Harrelson and Steve Zahn, until beset with fiscal challenges, plans to revisit its roots in blue-collar comedy and music genre distribution, in addition to horror. It also plans to expand overseas in both physical and digital media.

“If you are going to do that [feature-film] model, you can’t be cash-constrained, and they were,” Green said.

He said feature films would represent just one of many tent poles related to product categories more readily available to buyers for DVD, Blu-ray Disk and electronic distribution due to the economy.

“We are distribution agnostic,” Green said. “We will use any distribution system that makes commercial sense. We expect to be very active in the acquisition of rights and companies both in the video world, content world and related.”

 


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