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Image Expands Special Committee

23 Oct, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Image Entertainment, whose shareholders last week rejected a hostile board takeover attempt by disgruntled stockholder Lionsgate, announced it has expanded a special committee created to seek alternative strategies to boost shareholder value, including sale of the company.

The Chatsworth, Calif.-based distributor appointed board member David Coriat, EVP and CFO of Canadian broadcaster Standard Broadcasting Corp. Limited, to the special committee.

Coriat tallied just 68 votes behind frontrunner Gary Haber at last week's shareholder meeting.

Image's board reiterated its commitment to the special committee and financial advisor, Lazard Freres & Co., retained last year to explore all potential strategic opportunities.

Special committee chairman and Image board member Ira Epstein underscored Coriat's “significant” mergers and acquisitions experience and said he looked forward to leveraging the executive's expertise on behalf of the committee and Image's shareholders.

Lionsgate, Image's second largest shareholder, had entered a candidate slate based largely on the platform that Image executives were undermining the company's market potential, among other concerns.

Separately, Image, in association with Bandai Visual USA Inc., announced that 1988 anime series “Gunbuster” would be released Feb. 20, 2007 for the first time in North America on DVD.

A favorite among anime fans, “Gunbuster” has been re-mastered in HD 24P format with newly translated English subtitles under the supervision of the original producers.

The DVD set ($64.99 SRP) will contain all six episodes on three discs and includes a 24-page color booklet.

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