‘American Idol’ Owner CKX Confirms Company Sale Talks
“American Idol” owner CKX Inc. confirmed it’s in discussions regarding a possible sale, following reports that One Equity Partners LLC is in talks to take the company private.
There’s no assurance a transaction will take place and no guarantee it will be at the price and terms as speculated, the New York-based entertainment company said today in a statement.
One Equity Partners, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s private equity arm, is near an agreement to take CKX private, a person with knowledge of the matter said March 26. One Equity is working with CKX Chief Executive Officer Robert Sillerman, who would retain his 21 percent stake in the company, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier that day. The buyers plan to pay about $6 a share, the Journal said, valuing CKX at about $558 million.
CKX owns the rights to Elvis Presley’s name and image, and operates his Graceland mansion. The company also holds rights to boxer Muhammad Ali’s name and image. In 2005 it acquired the owner of “American Idol,” the most-watched U.S. television show for the past five seasons.
CKX shares were halted this morning after rising to $6.20 in early trading at 8:25 a.m. They rose 48 cents, or 8.8 percent, to $5.96 March 26 in regular Nasdaq Stock Market trading.