Relativity makes bid for Maker Studios worth up to $1.1B

The offer is a last-minute effort to thwart the Disney acquisition deal that is scheduled to be voted on tomorrow.
April 14, 2014

UPDATED AT 17:48 EST: Later on Monday Maker Studios announced shareholders approved the merger with Disney.

Relativity Media is trying to sweep up Maker Studios away from Disney with a last-minute bid worth up to $1.1 billion.

Relativity amended the deal Monday morning after initially offering $500 million plus $400 million if financial targets are met, and an additional $100 million in bonuses for key YouTube talent and execs.

A source familiar with the deal says the new offer, made at about 7:30 a.m. PST, is now $525 million in cash and stock, plus a potential $500 million in cash and stock if certain financial targets are met. Relativity is still sweetening the deal with an additional $75 million bonus pool that would be available to YouTube talent within Maker’s network as well as key Maker executives. The bonus offer (in stocks) is guaranteed, not contingent on performance targets, the source confirms. It’s meant for people who have been critical to the success of the company, but aren’t existing stockholders.

“Relativity’s proposal fully values Maker Studios while providing  its shareholders far more upside potential for growth than the Disney offer. Our offer also includes a substantial opportunity for Maker’s talent and employees to directly and significantly participate in the long-term growth of Relativity should the transaction be completed,” the company says in a statement.

“Relativity and Maker Studios are natural partners. We both share a commitment to challenging the status quo, breaking down old models that don’t work and inventing new ones that do. We are confident the Maker Studios board and its shareholders will recognize the full value of the Relativity offer.”

Barclays and Jefferies are Relativity’s bankers on the deal. Relativity is the company behind movies like The Social Network,  Safe Haven and Act of Valor.

Last week, former Maker CEO Danny Zappin and three other co-founders filed a lawsuit in an attempt to thwart the Disney sale.



About The Author
Melita Kuburas is the editor of StreamDaily. You can reach her directly at press[at] or on Twitter @melitakuburas

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