You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Relativity Bids for Online Video Giant Fullscreen With Ex-Maker Chief Danny Zappin (Exclusive)

6/17/2014

By Lucas Shaw
TheWrap

Relativity Media has submitted a bid for online video giant Fullscreen and has hired Maker Studios cofounder Danny Zappin to advise them on the deal, TheWrap has learned.

The bid comes just weeks after Relativity failed in its last-minute bid for Maker Studios, which sold to The Walt Disney Company in a deal worth up to $950 million.

Also read: Maker Studios CEO Danny Zappin Steps Down, Endemol's Ynon Kreiz Takes Over

Zappin helped build Maker Studios into the largest multi-channel network bringing together thousands of video creators across the globe.

When Disney took Maker off the market, Fullscreen became the largest MCN untouched by a recent frenzy of acquisitions and investments. Relativity is not the only company pursuing it.

Relativity is serious about making a splash in the digital space, and buying a multi-channel network is a popular way of doing that right now. The finance company turned movie studio has blossomed into a much larger media company, operating a successful sports agency and television business.

Fullscreen is expected to command a hefty price for any potential buyer, with a potential Relativity deal pegged between $750 million and $1 billion. Two individuals said stock comprises the majority of Relativity's offer.

Also read:  Maker Studios: Disney Deal Approved, Relativity Bid Too Late

An individual with knowledge of Fullscreen's thinking said there "was a less than one percent chance" that Fullscreen would sell to Relativity, citing lack of interest in taking stock in the private company.

Meanwhile hiring Zappin introduces a wild card into the mix, as he is suing Maker for ousting him as CEO. Relativity is also in talks with Zappin, a polarizing figure in the YouTube community, to join the studio as a senior digital executive.

Zappin has told friends he's being brought in as Relativity's chief digital officer, according to one of those individuals, who declined to be identified. Two other individuals confirmed Zappin is one the forces behind Relativity's bid to buy Fullscreen, a rival network to Maker Studios.

Relativity declined to comment on Zappin or its bid for Fullscreen.

Also read: Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos on Online Video, Monetization and the Next Seth MacFarlane

In his lawsuit, Zappin claims his former colleagues conspired against him, and those close to Zappin said he hopes to bring talent from Maker's network to his next venture.

Relativity filed a last-minute bid to buy Maker, but Maker took Disney's offer of $500 million with an earn-out of up to $950 million. Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh questioned the structure of Disney's deal in an interview Tuesday, arguing it did not offer enough incentives to talent in the network. Relativity too sees an opportunity to snag talent dissatisfied with their financial gains.

The three-year-old Fullscreen operates a network of more than 15,000 channels, and helps brands and companies such as NBC extend their reach on the world's largest video site.

The post Relativity Bids for Online Video Giant Fullscreen With Ex-Maker Chief Danny Zappin (Exclusive) appeared first on TheWrap.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Hollywood Torrent: So About Relativity's $1.1 Billion Bid for Maker Studios... (Video)

Will Netflix and Amazon's Push Into Original Series Hurt the TV Business?

Disney Tried to Acquire BuzzFeed

AdChoices
AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon