Apollo calls the shots and I called this one way back.
Core Media Group is selling off EPE and Mohamed Ali's estate for more than $200 million. Core Media wants to focus on television properties like American Idol, which is sinking like the Titanic in ratings.
EPE says they still want to expand with a new Elvis-themed hotel near Graceland and an Asian casino-based Elvis hub in Macua.
Do not be surprised if Simon Fuller makes a bid for EPE. He has been trying to get a hold of the Elvis business for a long time. He made CKX an offer of $600 million but the dumbasses turned it down and eventually had to settle for much less at $510 million. Plus he's Lisa's manager.
May 20, 2013 9:16 pm
Graceland put on the market
By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York
Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion and rights to the images of Elvis and Muhammad Ali are on the market with a possible price tag of more than $200m, people familiar with the process said.
Three people familiar with the process said Core Media Group, the entertainment group behind TV programs such as American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, has begun approaching potential bidders from Asia, Europe and the US for Elvis Presley Enterprises and Muhammad Ali Enterprises.
Core, known as CKx before Apollo Global Management bought it for $509m in 2011, has appointed The Raine Group, a New York merchant bank, to review strategic alternatives, two of these people said.
It is testing the market but could keep both if it is unhappy with the offers it receives, they said, but Core hopes to focus on producing content for television and digital outlets. Core and Raine declined to comment.
More than 35 years after Presley’s death and 32 years after Ali’s retirement, the two assets generate revenues of about $60m a year and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of about $23m, according to a briefing document sent to potential bidders.
Despite the 38 per cent ebitda margin, a record of stable, predictable cash flows and a history of revenue raising Elvis re-releases, people familiar with the Presley estate see significant potential for expansion if a buyer is willing to invest.
Possible investments include an Elvis-themed hotel near Graceland in Memphis, a stage show in an Asian casino hub such as Macau, and digital and social media expansion. People familiar with the estate add that per capita spending by Graceland’s 550,000 annual visitors is relatively low and could be improved.
The Presley family, represented by the singer’s daughter, Lisa Marie, retained 15 per cent of the company when it sold the remainder to Robert Sillerman’s CKx for about $100m in 2004. The Ali family owns 20 per cent of Mohamad Ali Enterprises.
The unusual combination of brand management rights for two of the 20th century’s most recognizable brands with a tourist destination that has become a place of pilgrimage for many music fans is likely to attract a diverse set of buyers.
These could include music and live entertainment companies and executives, developers, wealthy fans and local Memphis business people.
Elvis Presley Enterprises includes more than 110,000 pieces of memorabilia, including 3,000 pieces of clothing and 30 vehicles; royalties from 24 films; and copyrights and royalties for 1,150 songs. Mohammed Ali Enterprises controls 11,000 images, 50 hours of footage from the boxer’s life and career, and 5,000 pieces of memorabilia.
Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings division holds the rights to all Presley’s master recordings, and has overseen several reissues, including plans to release a deluxe edition of “Elvis at Stax” in August.
Core considered a bid for Endemol before the European television production company’s owners put sale talks on hold. A successful sale could raise proceeds for a renewed attempt to buy Endemol or other production businesses.
Apollo calls the shots and I called this one way back.
Work in Progress!
Fullers offer of $600 million was for "all of CKX" not just EPE and Ali's merchandising rights so that offer was much bigger at the time.
A shareholder sued (rightfully) to stop the sale because other bids had not been sought out-and the terms of the Fuller deal were slanted toward Fuller against minority stockholders......unfortunately because of the stock market rollercoaster Fullers offer ended up being 90 million more than what Apollo bought CKX for. Perhaps Fuller should have made overtures to the other minor investors and he could have kept the bid alive.
Work in Progress!
'Graceland put on the market' on the Elvis matters site where I saw it earlier is a really mis-leading title.......
"NO-ONE, BUT NO-ONE,IS HIS EQUAL, OR EVER WILL BE. HE WAS, AND IS SUPREME".Mick Jagger
This could turn out to be a blessing. Depending on who becomes the new owner, if anyone does. But from the sounds of things and the latest transactions by Core Media group, it to me has seemed as if they care more about their precious American Idol show than they do the historical and more popular Graceland. I now hope Idol falls flat on it's face from here on out. Mariah Carey was the worst choice for a judge ever to be on a talent show. As was Nicki Minaj.
But I strongly feel that Fuller will be involved. For one thing, Lisa WANTS him to be in charge as she knows that he's a big Elvis fan and appreciates Elvis and understands his importance. Fuller could do wonders that Sillerman, Core never could, including getting rights to Elvis' music catalog. Don't forget, he has ties to Sony and RCA. Crazier things have happened.
I can also see Fuller want 19 Entertainment thrown into the package as well. He created that company when he created American Idol. But he sold the rights to it to Sillerman and CKX, now Core's property. He could use that record label to move Elvis' catalog to should he ever get a hold of it.
Back in 2000 or so, Fuller made RCA an offer then, but they turned it down. Since then, he has grown significantly both financially and as a businessman. His networth is around $600 milion.
When Fuller made the offer for CKX in 2011, it was said then that he wanted it mainly because of the Elvis business. Fuller has even gone on record in the past as to say that he was done with IDOL and had moved on.
There's also the possibility that Robert FX Sillerman re-enters the picture. I wonder what Elvis fans would think of that? He was so determined to make his dream expansion become a reality and it failed due to poor planning and a crippling recession. Don't be surprised if he takes another stab at it, especially now that the world economy is picking back up again. And considering that he and Fuller are long time business partners and personal friends, it would not surprise me if they go into a joint partnership once again to buy back the rights to EPE. I know that Lisa and Priscilla would love to see that happen. Then MAYBE we as fans will finally see a newer and better hotel to stay at when visiting Graceland, have nicer things to see (a new visitor's center and better exhibit areas) and do after hours and actually enjoy the time there. I can't enjoy it as it depresses me each time I go back. The way the city ignored Whitehaven and let it go from a nice community to the hood. The area directly around Graceland is so unattractive. EPE needs to just demolish all of the Hot Wheels car lot and the Boulevard Souviners shop next to Graceland and just let it be open green space until they decide what to do with it. At least it would look better than it does now.
But I don't expect anything to change at Graceland until Fuller or someone with a serious commitment and deep pockets will to spend as Sillerman had to make it happen. Until then, expect the same as it's been for the past 30 plus years. A letdown.
Work in Progress!
The blessing was suppose to be Sillerman, then Apollo, now-Fuller (or as you put it whomever takes over) so I'm not sure if a blessing is the correct way to look at this...but I suppose long shots happen.
I never heard of any offer for Elvis' RCA catalogue-by Fuller or anyone else... RCA/BMG?SONY have always said Elvis' music is not for sale.
The catalogue is priceless and has made the record companies hundreds of million since Elvis died in direct sales and licensing to movies, commercials, tv etc......they will never sell because its too easy to repackage at very little overhead and sell a couple million albums a year with huge profit margins.
Fuller, Donald Trump, name a billionaire-they are not going to get the music-RCA was smart in 1973 by buying all rights to the pre 73 music-and
have raked in a fortune since then. The lesson they learned in that deal was Parker should have never sold the rights-and they will never sell today.
As far as Sillerman coming back-what purpose would that fullfill?
The "deep pockets" were not there as promised in the original sale, the planning was not there as promised in the original sale, the vision was grand in interviews...the implimentation was lacking and he shouldered that.
He resigned at the urging of the board of directors....all this does not speak well of his abilities so why would fans want him back?
I would confidently say that going to Graceland is "not a letdown" for 95% of the fans who visit-and visit on a regular basis-if it depresses you just do not go. It did not depress my daughter and her friends (who are planning to revisit this summer), nor my brothers family, nor my aunt and uncle who just went last year they enjoyed "walking the halls that Elvis walked" pure and simple thats what people go for.
Elvis legacy and popularity has grown-you mentioned this to Brian in another thread just recently...and it has grown without the new convention center, state of the art museum (Graceland is the museum that people visit many of us have pointed this time and time again)
But I am not against the idea of an expansion as long as Graceland is the focal point, where Elvis actually lived, loved laughed and sang.
No matter how fancy or elaborate a state of the art museum can be made-you can never get that feeling of walking the halls he walked.
Lisa takes the initiative to go the next level (that many have complained should be done) and Sillerman steps up and Lisa makes a bundle and then Sillerman does not deliver thru lapsed time in planning and economic factors, then Apollo does not deliver in even shorter time (as I predicted) and now they want to sell EPE and Ali-but keep other major parts of Core (for now anyway)
So truthfully most fans could care less who takes over-because they will go to Graceland regardless, and so will casual fans and tourists worldwide.
I only hope that whoever takes over-actually has some real vision of direction and the capacity to carry out that vision...and not start something that they have no intention of finishing.
Work in Progress!
Love Elvis...The Greatest
Brazil is thousands of miles from Graceland-the exhibit is meant to travel the world for people who can not come to America, but love and have an interest in Elvis.
Graceland is the heart of Elvis since he is no longer here-you do not seem to understand that concept. People do not come to Graceland because the home is the biggest and best in the world, nor for its landscaping, nor for its location in Memphis-they come because Elvis lived and died there.
You speak constantly of huge modern ultra conceptual "things" yet you miss the reason that they are not necessarily needed. YOU want them-most fans will go whether they are there or not-because it is not those "things" they go there for.
Sorry Viva-its now years since the original sale to Sillerman and EPE is not the villain (although perhaps Lisa should have ignored the cries of some for movement to the next level since its been such a roller coaster since that moment)
Work in Progress!
To be honest i never really cared who owns Elvis' name and image.
Certain fans including VivaElvis think expanding graceland is the key to maintaining Elvis' standing in the world.
I never really agreed with that.
It's already been mentioned on this thread but Graceland will be open to tourists no matter who owns Elvis' name in the future.
If they want to buy up more land to expand Graceland or build a hotel in Memphis or Vegas and name it after Elvis or also build a museum in another country that's fine but in the end it's not what i think is going to help Elvis' name in 2013 and beyond.
Here is list of things that would help get Elvis' name back into the news and a few things Elvis can still achieve for himself despite being dead.
I realize some of these things are either a long shot or not going to happen but this is worth mentioning for the purpose of the thread.
1.A quality theatrically released motion picture on Elvis' life similar to but better than I Walk the line, A Coal miners daughter, Ray, Bird, Beyond the Sea, The Buddy Holly Story etc. (never going to happen because of too many crappy made for television movies.)
2. For someone to discover tapes of one hundred songs by Elvis that were never released before and then for Sony to release all of them on a box set. ( never happen)
3. Someone finding great quality concert footage of Elvis of several concerts that lasts around three hours in length. ( never happen.)
4. For EPE to use the hypothetically newly discovered recordings and audio footage to form the basis of the long discussed Elvis Anthology. ( Not going to happen) This anthology project would obviously then air on television as a way to introuduce Elvis to people unfamilar with him.
5. Elvis being awarded the presidential medal of freedom (He should have gotten this when Jimmy Carter was president. Not going to happen now.
6. Elvis being inducted into the Blues hall of fame ( Should have been inducted in the 1990s or the 2000's but is being snubbed by them. Not likely to happen.
7. I think it would be cool if the city of Memphis would finally name their airport after Elvis because they don't have anyone else from there that's as recognizable ( not likely to happen at least not in the near future)
If all these 7 things would start to unfold it would get Elvis back into the news and it would get the Elvis world excited again after a lull.
None of these will ever happen except for the blues hall of fame but even that's a long shot due to lazy fans.
Elvis is the biggest most iconic figure in the history of entertainment, maybe even the iconic figure in the world, yet EPE prefers to spend little on preserving the legacy and instead making it a cash cow flow circus. Lisa Marie has contributed to this too. If I'm wrong for wanting my idol to receive better care and treatment then so be it. At least I care.