NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — CKX has confirmed that it has received a $600 million takeover bid from a group of investors led by "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller, opening up the possibility of a bidding war between Fuller's group and company founder Robert Sillerman. Fuller, along with & former Barclays Capital banker Roger Jenkins have put together a yet-to-be-named fund, capitalized to the tune of $1 billion, to make strategic acquisitions and they appear to be leading off with a bid for Fuller's former employer CKX.
CKX's founder and former CEO Robert Sillerman announced his resignation from the company earlier this month and with the backing of JPMorgan Chase's private equity operation, made his own $560 million bid for CKX. More recently, Sillerman has been reported to be working with private equity firm CVC Capital but it was unclear if they had submitted a bid for CKX, the Journal said. Sillerman remains CKX's largest shareholder with a 20.6% stake in the company.
Fuller, the creative mind behind "American Idol" and the head of 19 Entertainment, sold the his company to CKX in 2005 for $174 million and joined the ranks at CKX as a top exec. In January, he resigned from both companies to launch a new entertainment venture while continuing to consult on a number of CKX projects such as "American Idol."
Both Sillerman and Fuller had joined in an attempt to take CKX private in 2007 but tightening credit markets due to the impending financial banking crisis made it difficult to raise sufficient capital at that time.
CKX owns the rights to intellectual properties such as "American Idol" and the popular "So You Think You Can Dance" as well as the rights to the estates and likenesses of Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali. Uncertainty about takeover rumors had seen CKX stock trading significantly lower for most of 2010, however shares closed up by 22% on May 28th. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers