Sillerman Buys Another Idol

Robert F.X. Sillerman has purchased Simon Fuller’s London-based management company, 19 Entertainment – home of the “[Fill in the country] Idol” franchise, S Club 7 and the Spice Girls, fueling speculation that the former head of SFX Entertainment is again on the roll-up trail.

Sillerman’s company, CKX, purchased the management firm for a reported $124 million in cash and about 1.9 million shares in CKX, which is worth about $32 million. Sillerman’s new company, by the way, was an inactive, publicly traded sports company called Sports Entertainment Enterprises when he purchased it for about $3.5 million in December.

CKX’s first maneuver was to buy 85 percent of Elvis Presley’s estate, giving Sillerman rights to Presley’s name, likeness and image, along with rights to The King’s music publishing catalog and the estate’s intellectual property. At the time, CKX said in a statement it was the “first in a series of strategic acquisitions.”

Fuller, who began his management company 15 years ago based on the success of his client Paul Hardcastle, said CKX will provide his company with “a powerful platform for global growth and allow us to fully take advantage of all the amazing opportunities that lie ahead.”

“Fuller and his associates at 19 Entertainment have a long history of developing and building some of the most impactful branded entertainment properties in the world,” Sillerman said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have them as partners of CKX. As we grow our business, the content that 19 owns, controls, is developing or develops in the future will become important elements in our effort to refocus the relationship between the creators of content and the distributors of that content.”

Last year, there were rumblings that Sillerman and his senior management team were considering a roll-up of management companies. That was followed by a rumor that he was considering purchasing talent agency International Creative Management.

Sillerman rang the opening bell for a day of trading at NASDAQ’s New York stock exchange March 1st, just days after CKX began publicly trading. Shares have fallen from an opening price of $20.50 on February 17th, but climbed more than five points March 18th to end trading above $22.00 a share.