One Equity Said to Be Near Buyout of ‘American Idol’s’ CKX

One Equity Partners LLC, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s private equity arm, is near an agreement to take “American Idol” owner CKX Inc. private, said a person with knowledge of the matter.

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One Equity is working with CKX Chief Executive Officer Robert Sillerman, who would retain his 21 percent stake in the New York-based entertainment company, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier. The buyers plan to pay about $6 a share, the Journal said. The price would value CKX at about $558 million.

Ed Tagliaferri, a spokesman for CKX, declined to comment.

Shares of CKX surged at the end of regular trading, moving higher after hours to $6.17. They rose 48 cents to $5.96 in regular Nasdaq Stock Market trading and have gained 27 percent in the past 12 months.

CKX owns the rights to Elvis Presley’s name and image, and operates his Graceland mansion. It also holds rights to boxer Muhammad Ali’s name and image. It acquired the owner of “American Idol,” the most-watched U.S. television show for the past five seasons, in 2005.

Simon Cowell will step down as a judge on the talent show at the end of this season to host a U.S. version of “X Factor” on the network.

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