Bethesda, Md.RLJ Acquisition, the Bethesda-based media investment vehicle of Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder Robert Johnson, said it will acquire California-based Image Entertainment and Silver Spring-based Acorn Media Group in a bid to create one of the world’s largest independent distributors of digital and video content.

Image distributes entertainment programming focused on the urban, independent film, comedy, and horror genres, while Acorn distributes British television programming, such as the Agatha Christie library.

The combined company will be known as RLJ Entertainment, with shares expected to trade on the Nasdaq. Johnson will serve as executive chairman.

Under the deals, shareholders of Image will receive 2.1 million shares of RJL and $22.6 million in cash. Shareholders of Acorn will receive $105 million in cash and 1 million shares of RJL stock. Once the deal closes, current stockholders of Image and Acorn will own approximately 11 percent and 5 percent of RLJ Entertainment, respectively. Ted Green, the chairman and CEO of Image Entertainment, will serve as the CEO of RLJ Entertainment.

This article was also published in Potomac Tech Wire.

Related links:

RLJ Acquisition – company website

RLJ – press release [PDF]