In late March, Disney agreed in principle to purchase online video network Maker Studios for a base cost of $500 million. In the eleventh hour, Relativity Media is trying to snap up Maker Studios for itself. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the film studio and entertainment company has submitted a $500 million bid of its own just a few days before the Disney deal will come to a vote.
Like Disney, Relativity is reportedly offering numerous performance incentives to sweeten its deal beyond the base $500 million price tag. These additional payouts total $400 million, $50 million fewer than the $450 million potential bonus offered by Disney; however, Relativity’s bid also includes a $100 million “bonus pool” for key figures within Maker Studios. “Relativity’s proposal fully values Maker Studios while providing its shareholders far more upside potential for growth than the Disney offer,” the company said in a statement.
The offer comes just a few days before Maker’s board of directors is expected to vote on Disney’s offer, which has the potential to bring the Mouse House closer to its target audience. Sources close to the deal believe that Relativity’s late offer will have no effect on the board’s decision to approve the Disney sale.
Relativity’s bid is the latest obstacle for the Maker Studios sale. Last week, ex-Maker CEO Danny Zappin applied for a court order that would delay the acquisition. The court motion jumps off a previous lawsuit by Zappin, who believes the board of directors conspired to remove him from his former position.
At this point, it still seems pretty certain that the Maker board will approve Disney’s purchase; however, between Relativity and Zappin, the deal is going down quite as smoothly as anticipated.