Former Maker Studios CEO Files to Stop Disney Acquisition
The former CEO of Maker Studios, Danny Zappin, is again bringing some legal complications to the company he helped create -- and that ousted him in May, 2013. On Wednesday of this week, Zappin and three other Maker founders (Scott Katz, Derek Jones, and Will Watkins) applied for a temporary restraining order with the Superior Court for the State of California in Los Angeles.
The goal of the application is to delay and perhaps stop the Maker Studios shareholder vote scheduled for April 15, on whether or not to approve the sale of the company to the Walt Disney Co. for over $500 million (up to $950 million if performance targets are met). Zappin's side argues that the shareholders have not been presented with information about a previous lawsuit by Zappin, and so are not sufficiently informed to vote on the acquisition.
That previous lawsuit was filed in June, 2013. Zappin argued that the Maker board members and officers tinkered with the stock -- giving themselves shares illegally and diluting the common stock in favor of the preferred stock -- with the purpose of electing supportive director seats and removing Zappin from his role. Maker called that lawsuit baseless and without merit.
Read the full redacted legal action online.
Pending regulatory approval, Disney will finalize its acquisition of Maker in just a few weeks. Relativity will look elsewhere.
Looking to grow its presence online, Disney is buying one of the top multi-channel networks on YouTube, gaining Maker's 380M subscribers.
Maker CEO Ynon Kreiz spoke at South by Southwest today, but didn't address Disney's possible acquisition of his company for $500 million.