A bitter end to Image merger


Financier David Bergstein's BTP Acquisitions Co. has terminated its plans to merge with independent DVD supplier Image Entertainment, claiming that the company failed to follow through with a $60 million acquisitions debt financing plan hashed out more than six months ago.

In a brief statement, BTP said "Image had failed to satisfy certain conditions to BTP's obligations to complete the merger." The scheduled closing date of the merger was Tuesday.

BTP also notified Image that it was in compliance with all the obligations required under the merger agreement and that it had the "rights and remedies against Image in connection with the merger agreement and BTP's termination."

Last week, BTP issued a default notice against Image. The Chatsworth, Calif.-based company responded by filing notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission, claiming that BTP breached the July 27 merger agreement by refusing to turn over financing information necessary to complete the merger.

Image, which fought off a takeover bid by Lionsgate in 2006, also filed suit against BTP in Los Angeles Superior Court. The case is pending.