After bypassing richer deals over the past two years, home-entertainment distributor Image Entertainment Inc. said late Thursday it agreed to sell itself to Nyx Acquisitions Inc. for approximately $60.2 million in cash plus assumption of debt.

Chatsworth-based Image Entertainment and San Francisco-based Nyx value the deal at $100 million when including outstanding debt. Shareholders will receive $2.75 per share in cash. The price is close to four times as much as the company's closing stock price of 69 cents on Thursday.

Nyx is a division of Q Black LLC, a privately held new-media and global investment group. The transaction is scheduled to close during the first quarter and is not subject to financing conditions, the companies said.

"By combining Image's established infrastructure and highly regarded home video, digital and television distribution capabilities with Q Black's content creation and digital technology expertise, the parties create a much larger and exciting organization, one very much focused on feature films and well prepared to take advantage of evolving distribution strategies," said Image President David Borshell in a statement.

Image, which traded as high as $4 a share in early 2007, has struggled in recent years as video distribution formats changed and prices fell. A $95 million cash, or $4.40-per-share, deal with private equity firm BTP Acquisition Co. fell apart in January, after Image accused BTP of being unable or unwilling to secure the financing.

Image's board rejected a $4-per-share stock buyout by Santa Monica-based studio Lions Gate Entertainment in 2006.

Image shares were up 65 cents, or 94 percent, to $1.34 in morning trading on the Nasdaq.

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