Robert F.X. Sillerman and Elvis Presley Enterprises Announce Partnership
Posted on elvis.com
Robert F.X. Sillerman and his new media and entertainment company, which will be named CKX, Inc., have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in the assets comprising the estate of Elvis Presley. The new partnership will conduct all business activities concerning EPE, Graceland and tour operations, however the transaction was structured so that the title to Graceland and its 13.6-acre grounds in Memphis, TN, and most of Elvis's personal effects remain with Lisa Marie Presley.
The new partnership includes all trademark rights to the name, likeness and image of Elvis Presley and all EPE-owned intellectual property, including its collection of photographs, archival documents and footage, and EPE's successful music publishing catalog, as well as the Graceland visitor center complex and Heartbreak Hotel across the street from the mansion
and all other EPE real estate investments.
In a related transaction, Mr. Sillerman announced that he expects, through an affiliated entity, to acquire approximately 94 percent of the common equity of Sports Entertainment Enterprises, Inc. (OTC BB:SPEA.OB), an inactive publicly traded company, through which the business of CKX will be conducted. Please see Mr. Sillerman's and SPEA's releases for further information on this transaction.
"For the past few years I've been looking for someone to join forces with to expand the many facets of EPE, to take it to new levels internationally, and to make it an even greater force in the entertainment industry," said Lisa Marie Presley, singer/songwriter and sole heir to the Elvis Presley Estate. "I feel confidant that Bob Sillerman and his team are the right
people to do this with. My greatest responsibility to my father is to preserve and protect his legacy, and this is an exciting new structure that opens up an incredible array of opportunities with a major infusion of new investment capital to do just that," continued Presley. "It's the ideal partnership in that I retain Graceland and my father's personal effects, yet joining forces with Bob Sillerman will give us the opportunity to grow even further the intellectual and entertainment properties."
Commenting on the transaction, Mr. Sillerman said, "I am extremely excited about our new venture, which we believe will bring unique concepts to different aspects of the utilization of entertainment content and will challenge the current models of distribution and consumption of content. I am fully committed to the success of CKX and there is no better way to launch our new company than by assuming the opportunity and responsibility, together with the Presley family and the current management of Elvis Presley Enterprises, of continuing and expanding the heritage of Elvis Presley. I believe Elvis to be the single most significant icon in American pop culture."
No staffing or personnel changes are anticipated within the EPE organization. Priscilla Presley remains as an executive consultant, Jack Soden remains as CEO and Gary Hovey remains Executive Vice President and head of the Los Angeles office. All of EPE's management team and staff will remain in place and Graceland tour operations will continue with business as usual.
EPE was created in 1980 by Priscilla Presley on behalf of the Elvis Presley estate. Its business extends far beyond the Graceland operation. It includes worldwide licensing of Elvis-related products and ventures, the development of Elvis-related music, film, video, television and stage productions, the ongoing development of EPE's Internet presence, the management of significant music publishing assets, the Heartbreak Hotel in Memphis and more.
Mr. Sillerman was the founder, a major shareholder and served as Executive Chairman of SFX Entertainment from its inception in 1997 until its sale to Clear Channel Communications in August 2000. SFX Entertainment was the largest presenter, promoter and producer of live events in the world. Prior to that, Mr. Sillerman was a founder, major shareholder and served as Executive Chairman of SFX Broadcasting, a major owner and operator of radio stations, from its inception in 1992 through its sale in 1998 to an affiliate of buyout firm Hicks, Muse, Tate Furst.
Last edited by Albert; 01-06-2005 at 09:19 AM.