Apparently no amount of money offered by Relatively Media (or any other potential suitor) could steal Maker Studios away from Disney. The massive YouTube multi-channel network and self-proclaimed “talent-first, technology-driven media company” released a statement to the press saying its $500 to $950 million sale to Disney is basically a done deal.
“As per the announcement made on March 24, Maker Studios has entered into a merger agreement with The Walt Disney Company,” said a Maker studios spokesperson. “The agreement has been approved by Maker Studios’ Board of Directors and the majority of its shareholders and is expected to close in the next few weeks, subject to regulatory approval.”
The statement comes just hours after news broke that Relatively Media had put in its own comparable and very serious offer to buy Maker. The full-scale film studio (whose horror flick Oculus is now playing in theaters) was willing to pay $525 million in cash and stock up front, with reportedly another $500 million in performance bonuses and an additional $75 million to keep key executives and talent on board.
If those numbers are accurate, the Relativity Deal was $150 million better than the Disney deal (at least on paper), but arrived to the table too late.
“We made a compelling offer and believe Maker Studios, its employees and its roster of talent would have greatly benefited from Relativity’s platform, its entrepreneurial approach and promising growth potential,” a Relativity Media spokesperson said in response to Maker’s statement about the Disney deal moving forward. “We will continue to aggressively explore future opportunities that align with our strategy to accelerate digital content creation and distribution.”
But Relativity Media isn’t the only one with bad news from Maker Studios. The company’s former CEO, Danny Zappin filed a lawsuit on April 9, 2014 to stall and/or indefinitely delay the vote for Maker Studios’ board to approve its acquisition by Disney. A Maker Studios just informed the press the legal motion was denied today by the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles.
Zappin’s original lawsuit with his former company that he filed back in June 2013, however, is still ongoing.