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‘American Idol’ Owner CKx to Be Sold to Financial Firm for $512M

CKx also owns rights to images of Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali

"American Idol" owner CKx has agreed to be sold to an affiliate of Apollo Global Management, a leading global alternative asset manager, CKx announced Tuesday. The price was estimated at $512 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, CKx stockholders will receive $5.50 in cash for each share that they hold, which is approximately a 40 percent premium over CKx's average closing price over the past six months and an approximately 25 percent premium over Monday's closing price.

The $512 million figure comes from multiplying $5.50 by the number of outstanding shares in the company.

In addition to owning 19 Entertainment, which produces "Idol," CKx owns the rights to the names, images and likenesses of Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali, and also operates Graceland. It also produces Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance."

Apollo obtained the support of The Promenade Trust, the sole beneficiary of which is Lisa Marie Presley and which is the company's partner in Elvis Presley Enterprises, and Robert F.X. Sillerman, the company's largest stockholder.

The sale has to be bittersweet for Sillerman, who resigned as the company's CEO last year, but said he was interested in buying it.

Sillerman, the former proprietor of concert production company SFX Entertainment, founded the CKx in 2005 and has served as its chairman and CEO ever since. He is also the company’s largest single shareholder.

"We look forward to working with Apollo, a growth-oriented investor who has a successful history of investing in the media and entertainment sector and one that the Board and management team are confident will serve as a strong steward for the Company's brands going forward," said Michael G. Ferrel, chairman and CEO of CKx, said.

CKX also announced Tuesday that it was cancelling a planned call about its first-quarter earnings results, which were released Monday.