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Cinedigm Names Four New Board Members

31 Jul, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Home entertainment distributor also names Merriman Holdings’ Ron Chez to the role of strategic advisor

Seeking to quash investor unrest, Cinedigm Corp. July 31 announced the addition of four new board members, increasing to 12 the number of directors.

The home entertainment distributor also named Ron Chez to the role of strategic advisor. Chez will advise Cinedigm on financings and capital structure, strategic transactions and opportunities, including acquisitions and dispositions, and other matters. Chez’s expertise includes six years as the co-chairman of Merriman Holdings, the parent company of Merriman Capital.

The board moves come after Cinedigm in May engaged executive search and advisory firm Korn Ferry to help reconfigure its board. The indie distributor had found itself in hot water following a poorly-received (by some investors) private debt offering of $64 million. Cinedigm said the funds would help pay off an existing loan, buy back shares, deal with ongoing litigation surrounding the acquisition of Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment and fund the rollout of OTT video, among other initiatives.

Investors didn’t agree, and with company shares trading below $1 following the funding announcement, Cinedigm had to act.

The new board members include Blair Westlake, Andy Schuon, Zvi Rhine, and Patrick O'Brien.

Westlake is currently a principal at MediaSquareup. Prior to that, he was VP of Microsoft's media and entertainment group. Schuon is CEO of Master Channel, a media and technology company. He is co-founder with Sean "Diddy" Combs of Revolt Media and TV, a multi-platform cable television network, and is chairman of music service provider Elevated Networks.

Rhine is a principal at Sabra Capital Partners. He was previously VP at The Hilco Organization. O'Brien has 40 years of multi-unit international management experience with an emphasis in financial analysis and business development.

“Collectively, [the new board members] bring important entertainment experience, financial expertise, and significant industry relationships to our board, and we are certain they will help guide Cinedigm as we continue to grow the company and build shareholder value,” CEO Chris McGurk said in a statement.

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