Bob Sillerman launching fight for CKX


A poison pill defense erected by the board of directors at CKX Entertainment hasn’t persuaded former CEO Bob Sillerman to go away. He’s filed with the SEC to go ahead with a bid to boost his stake to majority control.

The board says it would be willing to hear a buyout offer, but only if the suitor wants to buy out 100% of the stockholders. Sillerman only wants to acquire about 30%, which combined with what he already owns, would give him majority control of the company.

“Mr. Sillerman intends to begin discussions with holders of significant amounts of Common Stock to determine if such investors are interested in agreeing not to accept his offer to purchase, subject in all cases to the final terms and conditions of the offer.  Mr. Sillerman has had and is continuing to have discussions regarding potential participation in his offer by third parties who may provide financing and/or other assistance in connection with the offer to purchase. It is currently contemplated that the price provided for in the offer would be between $5.50 and $5.75 per share of Common Stock,” Sillerman said in an SEC filing. The filing did not mention how he would deal with the company’s poison pill provision to thwart an unwanted bid.

There has been no further word of a contemplated rival bid for 100% of CKX by Sillerman’s former business partner at the company, Simon Fuller. He was reported to be preparing a bid at around $6 per share. But that was three months ago.

CKX owns 19 Entertainment, which it bought from Fuller for $174 million in 2005. 19 Entertainment owns the rights to “American Idol,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and the web-based reality project, “If I Can Dream.” The latter is tied in to another CKX franchise, Elvis Presley Enterprises, which licenses the name and likeness of its namesake. CKX also licenses the name and likeness of Muhammad Ali.

RBR-TVBR observation: Think the deck is stacked against Sillerman? Plenty of people in the radio business know that you should never bet against him.