Owner Of Elvis And "Idol" Gets Buyout Bid

People enter Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tenn., Aug. 14, 2002.
AP (file)
CKX Inc., the publicly listed operator of Elvis Presley's Graceland estate in Memphis, Tenn., confirmed Thursday that it has received a buyout offer from its chairman and chief executive, Robert F.X. Sillerman, that values the company at $1.33 billion.

Sillerman, the company's single largest shareholder, said he and Simon Fuller, the chief executive of CKX subsidiary 19 Entertainment Ltd., would purchase the company's outstanding common stock for $13.75 per share in cash.

CKX's board has been actively considering the proposal and plans to have another meeting early Friday morning to consider the bid. CKX said it expects the special committee of independent directors to complete its review of the transaction and present its recommendation to the board at the meeting.

CKX shares rose 4 cents to $10.63 Thursday, then climbed to $13.37 in after-hours trading.

CKX owns and develops entertainment content, including licensing the name and likeness of such figures as Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali. It also has the rights to the "American Idol" television show and adaptations that air in more than 100 countries.

In an interview with CBS' Sunday Morning last February, Sillerman said he wants to move the visitor center which sits on the other side of Elvis Presley Boulevard and put it next to Graceland. The Heartbreak Hotel will be torn down to make way for two bigger hotels in the entire complex that takes up 25 acres will grow to more than 100 acres.

He also said he has plans to work with Cirque du Soleil to create a permanent Elvis show for Las Vegas and traveling shows that could tour the world.

"China is so big it could probably support a touring show forever," Sillerman said.