NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Private equity investment firm Apollo Global Management has agreed to buy CKx Inc, parent company to "American Idol" producer 19 Entertainment in a cash deal worth $509 million to take the company private.
Apollo's tender offer, which comes in at $5.50 a share has already earned the support of CKx's largest shareholders: Robert F.X. Sillerman and Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa-Marie Presley.
CKx accepted the deal, bringing to a close four years of failed bids for the company from a variety of suitors, including consortiums led by 19 Entertainment's Simon Fuller and CKx founder Robert Sillerman.
According to the Financial Times, Apollo has indicated that it intends to keep CKx's management team in place, noting that they look forward to working with CKx chairman and CEO Mike Ferrel and his executive team.
CKx has struggled with investor enthusiasm since they acquired 19 Entertainment in 2005, with shares for the company peaking at $29 shortly after the deal closed and hitting a low mark of just over $3 dollars in January 2011.
CKx's majority stake in businesses managing rights and properties associated with both Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley each posted a profit in the first quarter of the year, as well as strong showings from 19 Entertainment.
CKx was trading up by more than 22% at 5.45 after the announcement. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers