Maker Studios‘ board has approved the company’s sale to Disney, but a former employee is providing an added hurdle. Three days after the top YouTube network parried ex-CEO Danny Zappin’s attempt to break up the acquisition, it is facing a fresh lawsuit from Maker stockholder Andy Faberlle.
Faberlle’s lawsuit, first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, includes many of the same complains as Zappin’s lawsuit, which was launched in June 2013. “With great power comes great responsibility,” says Faberlle’s complaint. “Upon information and belief, members of Maker’s Board of Directors, Mark Suster, Lisa Donovan, Ben Donovan, Rachel Lam, Dana Settle, and Michael DiSanto, unhappy with their inability to control Maker and/or obtain a quick return on their invested capital in Maker, orchestrated a scheme to illegally issue enough shares to themselves and those friendly to them that would be required to approve any sale.” The full text of Faberlle’s lawsuit can be read here.
Faberlle hopes to disrupt Disney’s $500 million purchase of Maker Studios. Maker’s board approved the deal earlier this week, paying heed to neither Zappin’s attempt to break it up nor Relativity Media’s last-minute $500 million offer. Maker will likely fight Faberlle’s claims in the same way it fought Zappin’s: By denying the existence of an “anti-Zappin ‘cabal'” and all of the fraud associated with it.
Faberlle spent more than two years at Maker Studios, where he served as a “deal maker” who brought new partners to the network. According to an article in TheVideoInk, the list of creators signed by Faberlle includes Bart Baker, Ed Bassmaster, and Nathan Barnatt. He left the company in August 2013 and has since served as a consultant through FabLabs, a company he founded.
Disney can only watch as its newest acquisition fights its legal battles. Even in Faberlle’s lawsuit fails to have an impact, it’s safe to say that the Maker Studios sale isn’t quite going down as smoothly as possible.