Deal creates major indie distrib of nontheatrical content

Lifestyle media group Gaiam acquired Vivendi Entertainment from Universal Music Group Distribution Corp. on Tuesday for $13.4 million, creating a major independent distributor of nontheatrical media content with more than 7,000 titles.

Vivendi Entertainment, with 3,000 titles, operates in the U.S. and Canada repping brands that include World Wrestling Entertainment, Classic Media, Shout Factory, the Weinstein Co., NFL Prods., Big Idea, RHI, National Geographic, Salient Media, Televisa, Codeblack, Sid and Marty Krofft Pictures and Nelvana.

Boulder, Colo.-based Gaiam produces and distributes lifestyle programming as well as fitness accessories through a wide network of retail stores and a digital platform; it has 10 million direct customers. The company has an exclusive licensing pact with Discovery Communications and is publicly traded on the Nasdaq. The new company, called Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment, will control 14% of the nontheatrical distribution market, according to Gaiam.

Execs said the deal will add $25 million to revenue based on Vivendi Entertainment’s 2011 sales and be accretive to earnings this year.

Gaiam prexy Bill Sondheim said the company will leverage its “increased scale to attract additional product from leading studios and other content providers.”

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