LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — American Idol producer and judge Simon Cowell has pacted with U.K. billioniare Sir Philip Green in launching a new entertainment company to produce television content for the U.S. and U.K. market. Green is a Goliath in fashion retail in the U.K. and owns BHS, Arcadia, and clothing chain Topshop among other holdings.
According to the Financial Times, the yet-to-be-named company will serve as an umbrella company for Cowell's other entertainment ventures such as Syco Music and Syco TV as well as providing access to lucrative marketing opportunities for Green's extensive retail interests.
Cowell's current contract for Fox's "American Idol" expires in May and he has been in talks with Fox and 19 Entertainment, which owns the rights to the show. While no deal has been yet struck, any new agreement would likely be through the new joint venture. The contract offered to Cowell would make him the best-paid television personality, ahead of even mighty Oprah Winfrey, one person close to the negotiation told the Financial Times.
Cowell's long-term deal with Sony Music over Syco Music and Syco TV is also coming up for renewal and Sony is reportedly eager to re-ink with Cowell due to the success of artists such as Leona Lewis, who Cowell discovered through his UK television singing competition show, "The X-Factor." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers