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Maker rejects Relativity’s $1bn approach

Disney Maker StudiosMaker Studios has turned down Relativity Media’s US$1 billion-plus approach in favour of its existing agreement to join the fold at The Walt Disney Company.

Relativity yesterday attempted to hijack Disney’s deal to buy YouTube channel operator Maker with its own offer ahead of a Maker shareholder meeting today, but this has proven unsuccessful.

“As per the announcement made on March 24, Maker Studios has entered into a merger agreement with The Walt Disney Company,” a Maker spokesperson said a widely issued statement.

“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.”

Maker’s offer was initially thought to be of a similar value to Disney’s, but US reports now say the offer was for an initial US$525 million, plus US$500 million in target-related extras and US$75 million in order to keep key executives.

Disney’s offer is for an initial US$500 million, plus up to US$450 million in target-related fees.

The spokesperson also noted the legal motion Maker co-founder and former CEO Danny Zappin brought to stop the Disney deal had been denied by the Superior Curt of California. Zappin’s lawsuit over his exit from Maker nearly a year ago is separate and remains on going.

Zappin founded Maker in 2009 alongside Shay Butler, Lisa Donovan, Scott Katz, Kassem Gharaibeh and Ben Donovan.