Relativity Media tables $500 mn stock offer for Maker Studios

Relativity MediaTelevision and film studio Relativity Media has tabled a $500-million all stock offer for Maker Studios, a few weeks after the Walt Disney Co offered to buy the California-based multi-channel network, The Wall Street Journal today reported, citing a letter sent to the board of Maker.

Relativity has also offered Maker Studios, a leading network of online video content on YouTube, an additional $400 million in stock if some financial targets are met, the paper said, citing the letter.

Relativity, based in California, has also offered key talent and executives at Maker Studios a $100 million bonus pool, the report said.

Late last month, the Walt Disney Co struck a deal to buy Maker Studios for $500 million and a performance-linked earn-out of up to $450 million if certain targets are met. (See: The Walt Disney Co to buy Maker Studios for $500 mn)

Shareholders of Maker Studios are scheduled to vote today on the Walt Disney offer, although Danny Zappin, co-founder and former CEO of Maker Studios has filed a lawsuit to stop the vote.

Maker Studios is a multi-channel network co-founded by Lisa Donovan, Zappin, Scott Katz, Kassem Gharaibeh, Shay Carl Butler, Ben Donovan, and Philip DeFranco in 2009.

With more than 55,000 channels, 380 million subscribers and 5.5 billion views per month on Google owned YouTube, Maker Studios is the top online video network for Millennials.

By acquiring Maker Studios, Disney said that it will gain advanced technology and business intelligence capability regarding consumers' discovery and interaction with short-form online videos, including Disney content.

''Short-form online video is growing at an astonishing pace and with Maker Studios, Disney will now be at the center of this dynamic industry with an unmatched combination of advanced technology and programming expertise and capabilities,'' Disney chairman and CEO, Bob Iger, had said.