Simon & Sillerman

British newspaper reports suggest Simon Fuller will become Robert F.X. Sillerman’s right hand man, after selling his 19 Entertainment to the U.S. entrepreneur’s CKX for nearly a £100 million.

A March 19th report in The Times quoted Fuller as saying he expects to “have some fun with Elvis [Presley]” by taking the rights and doing “some things that haven’t been done before.” In December, Sillerman bought 85 percent of the Elvis Presley estate for U.S.$100 million (£52.55 million).

Under terms of the deal, Fuller will hand over control of 19 Entertainment, which produces “Pop Idol” and “American Idol” and manages David and Victoria Beckham, in return for £64.5 million cash and £19.2 million in cash and shares (according to The Independent‘s figures) and a seat on the CKX board.

The paper said he would effectively become “a partner” in CKX, while retaining control of 19 Entertainment and its subsidiaries.

Fuller’s personal fortune is already estimated to be at least £220 million; Ingenious Media – the specialist media investment bank that paid £5 million for a quarter of 19 in 2000 – will receive £25 million from the sale.

Fuller told The Daily Telegraph, “CKX will provide 19 with a powerful platform for global growth and allow us to fully take advantage of all the amazing opportunities that lie ahead.”

He began his career with Chrysalis Records, where he was an A&R scout, before leaving to set up his own business. He named his company after his first hit, Paul Hardcastle’s 1985 anti-Vietnam war song “19,” which reached No. 1 in the charts in 1985.

Since then, Fuller discovered Cathy Dennis singing in a nightclub in Norwich when she was 16, and helped her on her way to a string of hits in the ’80s and a subsequent career as a songwriter. She wrote Kylie Minogue‘s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.”

Fuller was also responsible for launching The Spice Girls to global fame, although they fired him 18 months after their first hit “Wannabe,” which reached No. 1 in 36 countries.

After a rare flop with 21st Century Girls, he hit the jackpot again with S Club 7, which had 11 Top 5 hits, its own TV series and spawned an even teenier bop version with S Club Juniors.

“Pop Idol” has struggled to produce many enduring stars but it’s still a big winner when it comes to TV ratings. The format has been sold to 35 countries and the U.S. version., “American Idol,” is hugely popular, something that (according to the business analysts) makes the deal so attractive to CKX.

Sillerman built the SFX network of live music promoters before selling it to Clear Channel for £ 2.3 billion (U.S.$ 4.4 billion) in 2000.