Maker Studios’ Board of Directors has already approved its proposed deal with Disney, rendering a last-ditch effort by Relativity Media to buy the company moot, Maker said Monday.
Disney agreed to buy Maker Studios in March for $500 million — and as much as $950 million if certain targets are met. Relativity then bid $1.1 billion with a different deal structure, as reported Monday, but it appears the offer came too late.
“As per the announcement made on March 24, Maker Studios has entered into a merger agreement with The Walt Disney Company,” the company said in a 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 Studios operates a network of more than 55,000 channels that generate more than 5.5 billion views every month. It raised more than $70 million in venture money since its founding, and its staff is now several-hundred strong. That made it a prime target for an acquisition, as larger media companies pursue the billions of people watching videos online (most of them on YouTube).
“We made a compelling offer and believe Maker Studios, its employees and its roster of talent would have greatly benefited from Relativity’s platform, its entrepreneurial approach and promising growth potential,” Relativity said in a statement. “We will continue to aggressively explore future opportunities that align with our strategy to accelerate digital content creation and distribution.”
In the same announcement, Maker said a judge had denied a recent motion by Danny Zappin to delay the Disney deal.
Zappin, a co-founder and former CEO of Maker Studios, wanted a judge to issue a temporary restraining order so that Maker shareholders can become informed about some of the allegations in his own suit.