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Relativity bid threatens Disney’s Maker takeover

LA film firm Relativity Media is looking to hijack The Walt Disney Company’s takeover of leading multichannel operator Maker Studios, a report claims.

Ryan-Kavanaugh-Relativity[1]Relativity, which has been pushing into television under the guidance of Ryan Kavanaugh (pictured), has offered Maker US$500 million in stock and an additional US$400 million subject to financial targets being met, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Furthermore, “key talent and executives” will be offered a US$100 million as part of a “bonus pool”.

The Disney offer is for US$500 million upfront and an additional US$450 million in additional payouts. The WSJ reported that Maker shareholders are meeting tomorrow to vote on the deal, which the firm’s management have accepted in principle.

A source told the WSJ the Disney-Maker agreement was binding and the Relativity offer was unlikely to effect proceedings.

Maker operates thousands of YouTube channels and gets more than 5.5 billion video views a month. Its channels currently have more than 380 million subscribers and the group, which former Endemol CEO Ynon Kreiz oversees as executive chairman, is considered one of the main MCNs that has not yet had investment from a traditional TV group.

RTL, its production subsidiary FremantleMedia, Warner Bros., DreamWorks Animation, ProSiebenSat.1, Canal+ and SingTel are among major players to have invested in the space in the past year.