Cinedigm Corp. late Thursday said that it will acquire the licensing and distribution business of Colorado media company Gaiam Inc. for $51.5 million.

The Century City digital cinema company said the acquisition of the unit, known as GVE, will add $15 million to its annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and Amortization and greatly expand its presence.

Gaiam, which is based in Louisville, Colo., will retain its health and fitness media business. The licensing and distribution unit it is selling has operations in Los Angeles and New York and provides sales, marketing and distribution to companies ranging from Discovery Communications and Hallmark Channel to Marvel Animation and World Wrestling Entertainment.

The acquisition will be financed through a combination of a new $55 million credit facility led by Société Générale Corporate and Investment Banking, $3 million of restricted Cinedigm stock and a $13 million public offering of common stock.

“This acquisition of GVE gives Cinedigm immediate scale and leverage across the entire entertainment value chain,” Cinedigm Chief Executive Chris McGurk said in a statement.

GVE President Bill Sondheim will become president of Cinedigm’s Entertainment Group., and report to McGurk and Chief Operating Officer Adam Mizel.

Cinedigm shares, which earlier closed down 6 cents, or 4 percent to $1.53 on the Nasdaq, fell nearly 8 percent in after-hours trading.

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