San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Injunction Sought to Halt Disney Acquisition

By Mark Madler Thursday, April 10, 2014

Former officers with Maker Studio Inc., including the chief executive, are seeking a court order to stop a shareholder vote on the company’s $500 million acquisition by Walt Disney Co.

Danny Zappin, a co-founder and former chief executive of the Culver City-based YouTube network, and three other former executives filed a 26-page petition on Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court to stop the scheduled April 15 vote.

The Burbank media and entertainment company announced last month it would buy Maker Studio, a multi-channel network that develops online video programming for YouTube channels.

The petition by Zappin, Scott Katz, Derek Jones and Will Watkins states that information provided to Maker shareholders for the vote did not include a reference to a lawsuit filed last summer by the four plaintiffs. That lawsuit alleged a conspiracy by other Maker board members to illegally issue themselves shares for their own financial gain and to take over the company.

“The allegations in the (lawsuit) are material to the merger because it would significantly affect the Maker shareholders’ decision to vote for or against the merger,” the petition said.

Zappin left Maker last May and was replaced as chief executive by Ynon Kreiz, who is named as a defendant in the restraining order petition along with Maker co-founders Lisa Donovan and Ben Donovan. Disney was not named as a defendant.

The defendants were not immediately available for comment. Disney has not issued a statement.

Shares in Disney closed down $2.96, or almost 4 percent, to $77.51 on the New York Stock Exchange.