Media co. pacts with homevid venture

NEW YORK — Lifestyle media company Gaiam has inked a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of GoodTimes Entertainment, a homevid venture whose library houses numerous wellness/fitness titles and children’s classics including “Benji” and “Jungle Book.” Under the terms of the deal — which is skedded to be announced today — Gaiam would pay $40 million in cash and assume certain financial liabilities associated with GoodTimes filing for bankruptcy late Monday.

GoodTimes and Gaiam outlined their proposal in documents logged with New York state bankruptcy court.

“We believe GoodTimes is a perfect strategic fit for Gaiam. We share a similar commitment to improving the quality of people’s lives and providing access to uplifting, inspirational and wellness/fitness content,” Gaiam prexy Lynn Powers told Daily Variety.

“Gaiam’s penetration of specialty retailers combined with GoodTimes’ strength in mass market will create a leading distribution network for these unique home video titles and independent films,” Powers said.

GoodTimes program library of more than 2,000 titles includes leading wellness franchises “The Firm” and “Billy Blanks’ Tae Bo”; children’s programming; and inspirational theatrical releases, including “The Omega Code.”

The Broomfield, Colo.-based Gaiam carries a number of mind-body health programs, as well as offering eco-friendly furnishings and apparel.

Gaiam expects the acquisition of GoodTimes’ assets to generate more than $200 million in annual revenues, along with increasing its share of the DVD market.

Gaiam would hold a particular edge in the nontheatrical DVD market once it acquires GoodTimes, becoming the sixth-largest distrib in this category, according to Gaiam chair-CEO Jirka Rysavy.

In the core wellness/fitness category, Gaiam would extend its leading DVD market share to approximately 37%.

“We are confident that the acquisition of GoodTimes will augment and accelerate our internal growth,” Rysavy said.

Gaiam would benefit from GoodTimes’ extensive distribution, saying its products would now be carried in 40,000 retail stores across the country and be available to an expanded direct customer base of 7 million.

In addition to directly distributing to retailers, GoodTimes distributes its programming and homevid products via direct response television and the Internet.

Gaiam expects the transaction to close by the end of the third quarter — subject to approval by a bankruptcy court.

Deal will be financed through the company’s balance sheet, which has $86 million of net shareholder equity and an unused $15 million line of credit.

Rysavy told Daily Variety that Gaiam wants to move into the theatrical distribution biz and that it expects to announce an acquisition in this arena in the coming months.

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