Cinedigm Said to Hire Evolution Media to Weigh Bid Interest

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Cinedigm Corp., the independent film and television distributor, has hired Evolution Media Capital to evaluate takeover approaches, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

The company has attracted interest from domestic and international entertainment companies looking to bolster their digital strategies or to gain a public stock listing, said one of the people, who asked for anonymity because the discussions are private. More than one has made a formal bid, another person said.

Cinedigm, best known for its role in financing the movie industry’s transition to digital projection, has remade itself as an online distributor of niche programs -- art-house films, documentaries and older TV shows like “Hart to Hart.” Its stock value tanked in April after the company issued $64 million in convertible notes. Yesterday, Cinedigm delayed filing its annual 10-K report, and said it could lose its Nasdaq listing because its stock price was below $1.

One of the companies showing interest was Relativity Media LLC, the struggling film and TV studio led by financier Ryan Kavanaugh, one the people said. The person said those talks are on hold until Relativity, which this month reached a forbearance agreement with lenders, resolves efforts to refinance loans that came due at the end of May. The people declined to discuss the identities of other suitors or terms of any offers.

Deadline.com reported last week that Relativity had held discussions with Cinedigm about a possible reverse merger.

Cinedigm, based in New York, distributes films and TV shows from partners including the National Football League, Discovery Channel and National Geographic, to theaters, digital channels and home entertainment platforms including retail DVDs.

Its online channels include CONtv, for Comic Con Network, and Docurama.

Cinedigm rose 4.6 percent to 92 cents at the close in New York on Tuesday, after Bloomberg News reported Evolution’s hiring. The company, with a current market valuation of about $70 million, was valued at more than $200 million a year ago.

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