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Cinedigm Bulks Up With $51.1 Million Acquisition of Gaiam Vivendi

In a move to expand distribution operations, Cinedigm has agreed to acquire Gaiam’s GVE home entertainment brands and content for $51.5 million.

Gaiam will retain its health and fitness media business. The Cinedigm acquisition includes the former Vivendi Entertainment library which distributed content from companies such as WWE, NFL, Hallmark, National Geographic and Discovery.

Cinedigm, which has elevated its profile by theatrically distributing Brie Larson starrer “Short Term 12,” said the acquisition is expected to add more than $15 million of annual EBITDA to financial results. The publicly-traded company built its business converting thousands of theaters around the country to digital, assembling a library of 5,000 titles and ramping up a slate that includes up to 20 titles a year targeted for theatrical bows combined with VOD and ultra-VOD releases.

Cinedigm is the largest aggregator and distributor of independent content and the fourth largest distributor of non-theatrical DVDs and Blu-Ray discs in the U.S. Annual retail sales are projected to exceed $320 million from both physical products and digital sales with multi-year relationships with suppliers, including

The acquisition is expected to close Oct. 21.

“This acquisition of GVE gives Cinedigm immediate scale and leverage across the entire entertainment value chain,” said CEO Chris McGurk. “The combination of GVE’s deep stable of consumer-friendly brands and unique direct retail relationships – paired with Cinedigm’s tremendous strength in the rapidly evolving digital distribution space as well as our theatrical releasing and over-the-top network businesses — creates a powerful and game-changing entity poised to take full advantage of the content distribution revolution,”

GVE President Bill Sondheim will become president of Cinedigm’s Entertainment Group.

Cinedigm has seen solid box office success so far with “Short Term 12” with Larson starring as a foster-care worker in a role that’s generating awards buzz.

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, its late summer release date was positioned to put it ahead of the fall crush of prestige pics. The drama’s taken in more than $908,000 in seven weeks and is still at 35 theaters with a 98% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. At the Toronto Film Fest, Cinedigm acquired Kelly Reichardt’s “Night Moves.”

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