Sillerman tells SEC he will make play for CKX
Robert F.X. Sillerman, the former chairman and chief executive of CKX Inc., the parent company of "American Idol" producer 19 Entertainment, made official his plans to pursue an acquisition of the company he founded.
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Sillerman, who already holds 21.3% of the company's common stock, said he plans to increase his holdings in CKX either through private purchases or a public tender offer and that he is in talks with a "private financing source" to back his efforts.
Besides 19 Entertainment, which produces "American Idol" and "So You
Think You Can Dance" for Fox and also has a management business, CKX has a majority stake in Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion and an
80% interest in licensing rights to the name and image of Muhammad Ali.
There are already a pair of potential suitors circling CKX. Simon Fuller, the creator of "American Idol" who sold 19 Entertainment to CKX several years ago, is teaming up with former Barclays banker Roger Jenkins on a bid of $600 million for the company. Also looking is One Equity Partners, which is the private-equity arm of JPMorgan Chase. Allen Shapiro, president and chief executive of Mosaic Media Group, is working on that effort.
In his filing, Sillerman says his purchases of stock "would be a superior alternative to entry by the Company into a sale or other transaction at current prices or even at a premium to those prices because they would enable those shareholders who wish to continue to hold the company's common stock, and to benefit from potential future opportunities, to continue to do so."
CKX declined to comment.
-- Joe Flint