CKX Buys MBST Entertainment

Robert F.X. Sillerman’s company, CKX, has agreed to acquire management company Morra, Brezner, Steinberg & Tenenbaum Entertainment, it was announced July 27th.

Beverly Hills-based MBST represents more than 35 clients including Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Woody Allen and jazz musician John Pizzarelli.

Details of the purchase were not disclosed in the companies’ joint announcement. But MBST principals Larry Brezner, David Steinberg and Steve Tenenbaum will continue to oversee the firm’s day-to-day operations.

This will be CKX’s third major purchase. The company dove right in last December, buying 85 percent of Elvis Presley’s estate for $100 million. That gave Sillerman rights to the King’s name, likeness and image, along with rights to Presley’s music publishing catalog and the estate’s intellectual property.

Then came the purchase of 19 Entertainment in March for a reported $124 million in cash and about 1.9 million shares in CKX. That gives Sillerman and his team the rights to “American Idol” and its worldwide variants.

After that, CKX announced Mike Ferrel – former president of SFX Entertainment – would again be Sillerman’s right-hand man.

Sounds like Sillerman – who, with Ferrel, rolled up radio stations and then the concert industry – is bundling something together. But what is the common denominator?

The purchase of Elvis property was dubbed the “first in a series of strategic acquisitions” by CKX. Sillerman then stated 19 Entertainment’s content was an important element in CKX’s effort to “refocus the relationship between the creators of content and the distributors of that content.”

As for MBST, it handles artist management and has had an advisory relationship with Apple Corps, the holding corporation for The Beatles, for more than 15 years. MBST is also responsible for the production of several motion pictures and television shows including “Arthur,” “Good Morning Vietnam,” “Throw Momma From The Train” and Disney’s soon-to-be-released “The Greatest Game Ever Played.”

CKX, is purchasing the company for $1 million in cash and 700,00 restricted shares of CKX common stock. MBST may also get about 150,000 shares upon satisfaction of certain performance thresholds within a five year period.