Posted by | Cyrena Rose

Media Mogul Robert L. Johnson, Chairman of The RLJ Companies, announced today that RLJ Acquisition, Inc. has entered into agreements to acquire each of Image Entertainment, Inc. and Acorn Media Group, Inc., two highly complementary media businesses to create one of the largest independent distributors of digital and video content globally.

Johnson, the founder of BET, is one of the nation’s few African-American billionaires.  In 2003 Viacom bought BET from Johnson for $3 billion.  Johnson is chairman of RLJ Development and former majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, an NBA franchise.

Image Entertainment is a home entertainment company with a deep library specializing in content for the African-American community.  Acorn Media Group is a leading independent distributor of British television programming to consumers in North America, and distributes in Australia and the U.K.

The new combined company will be named RLJ Entertainment, Inc.  Shares of the new company are expected to trade on the NASDAQ Stock Market.  RLJ Entertainment, where Johnson will serve as Executive Chairman, and will leverage his substantial expertise in media, consumer branding, and strategic relationships to accelerate growth and drive value creation.

“I am excited to work with the management team to run a company that will increase the opportunity for independent and urban-oriented producers to reach a broader audience across the expanding number of media outlets.  In a growing demand for global content, RLJ Entertainment will be well positioned by having a presence in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom,” Johnson stated.

Source:  Deadline