Sillerman and Fuller to battle for CKX


It looks like master dealmaker Bob Sillerman will have some competition to his bid to take CKX Inc. private. The Wall Street Journal reports that Sillerman’s former partner, Simon Fuller, is teaming with former Barclays Capital banker Roger Jenkins to make their own bid for the company.

Sillerman’s offer, which has not yet been made definite, is said to be coming at a price of $6 per share, which would value CKX at $558 million. The WSJ story indicates that Fuller/Jenkins would be a bit above that at $600 million.

CKX announced Friday that it had received a buyout offer from Fuller, but did not reveal the terms. There has been no similar announcement regarding any bid by Sillerman. CKX said it has retained Gleacher & Company is its financial advisor and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz as legal advisor to help evaluate the bid.

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 a new web-based Fuller 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.

Sillerman recently resigned from CKX, where he had been CEO, to pursue his effort to buy out other shareholders. He continues as a consultant to the company for $1 million per year and received a $3.3 million severance payment, along with immediate vesting of his stock options. He owns approximately 20% of the company’s shares.

While Sillerman had originally teamed with JPMorgan’s private equity arm, One Equity Partners, to bid for CKX, the WSJ said he has since changed to CVC Capital Partners.

Fuller left CKX before Sillerman, back in January, when he announced plans to launch a new company.

Sillerman and Fuller had been partners in a 2008 attempt to take CKX private, but abandoned the bid when the economy tanked. That buyout bid had been for $12 per share. Not it appears they will be making dueling bids, but at a much lower price threshold.