According to a story by Financial Times, the Walt Disney Company is nearing a deal to acquire Maker Studios in a deal worth $500 million which could rise to as much as $900 million if certain financial conditions are met, according to people familiar with the situation.
The move will give Disney a hefty presence in the rapidly expanding online video market. Maker Studios promotes, produces and distributes video aimed at “millennials” A.K.A. “the generation of you.”
Disney’s talks with Maker Studios come at a time of upheaval in the company’s television division. Anne Sweeney, co-chairman of Disney Media Networks is stepping down, after 18 years with the company. Ms. Sweeney, one of the most powerful women in Hollywood, is leaving to pursue a career as a television director. She said in a statement that the switch was “a long realized dream.”
Maker, which operates a network of 60,000 online “channels”, has already attracted outside investors, including Time Warner, Elisabeth Murdoch and Canal Plus. Its most recent funding round last summer valued the company at about $300 million.