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Relativity Media takes on Disney with Maker Studios bid

Relativity Media's Ryan Kavanaugh arrives at the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 24, 2013.
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Relativity Media's Ryan Kavanaugh arrives at the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 24, 2013.

Privately held film and TV studio Relativity Media has offered up to $1.1 billion to buy Maker Studios, whose shareholders are scheduled to vote Tuesday on a bid by Walt Disney, according to a letter provided to Reuters.

Relativity offered $525 million in cash and stock to acquire Maker, one of the largest video production networks on Google's YouTube. It offered an additional $500 million in cash and stock if financial targets are met, plus up to $75 million in stock in a bonus pool for "key talent and executives," according to the letter to Maker's board dated Monday.

"Relativity's proposal fully values Maker Studios while providing its shareholders far more upside potential for growth than the Disney offer," Relativity said in a statement.

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Representatives for Disney and Maker did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Disney agreed to buy Maker last month for $500 million in cash. The price could rise to $950 million if Maker hits some performance milestones.

Maker, founded in 2009, targets the younger millennial generation, known for its appetite for online video.

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Relativity, founded by film producer Ryan Kavanaugh, has released films such as "Immortals" and "Safe Haven."

Danny Zappin, Maker Studios' co-founder and former chief executive, filed a lawsuit to prevent the shareholder vote on the Disney offer, according to a report on Thursday in the Wall Street Journal.

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