Cinedigm acquires entertainment assets of Gaiam Inc.

Chris McGurk, chief executive of Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. in Century City.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Cinedigm Corp. said it has agreed to acquire the entertainment assets of Gaiam Inc., a leading distributor of home entertainment brands and content, for $51.5 million.

The acquisition, the largest to date for Cinedigm, is the latest move by the company to transform itself into one of the leading independent distributors of documentaries, movies and TV shows in theaters and digital outlets. Based in Century City, Cinedigm also is known for helping moving theaters transition from film to digital.

Last year, Cinedigm acquired New Video Group, a New York-based distributor of independent films, TV shows and specialty entertainment, for $14 million.

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Gaiam’s entertainment unit, known as GVE, is based in NYC and LA, with Gaiam corporate headquarters in Boulder, Colo. GVE has relationships with a wide range of brands, including NFL, Hallmark, National Geographic, Discovery, Scholastic and the Jim Henson Co.

The deal, expected to close Oct. 21, gives Cinedigm direct sales and marketing relationships with almost every major physical and digital retailer as well as a library of more than 32,000 film and TV titles and episodes, the company said.

“This acquisition ... gives Cinedigm immediate scale and leverage across the entire entertainment value chain,’' said Cinedigm Chairman and CEO Chris McGurk.

Effective immediately, GVE President Bill Sondheim will become president of Cinedigm’s Entertainment Group. He will report to McGurk and Adam Mizel.



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