Sillerman’s Silent Partner?

CKX has adopted a poison pill to keep former chairman and chief executive Robert Sillerman from pairing up with an unnamed third party to take control of the company.

CKX, which owns “American Idol” producer 19 Entertainment and all things Elvis, recently received a letter from a mystery suitor explaining it was in talks with Sillerman to purchase “less than all of” the company’s common shares, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Sillerman already owns 20 percent of the company.

In return, CKX said in a statement, it has adopted a plan that includes the issuance of preferred shares to protect shareholders from “potentially coercive takeover tactics,” but still leave the company open to “a fully financed offer for all of the company’s shares.”

A source reportedly close to the matter told the WSJ the strategy would keep Sillerman and company from acquiring the company through the back end, and allow CKX to negotiate with potential suitors in a sales process.

Sillerman may still have company in the race for CKX. Also believed to be in the running are AI creator Simon Fuller, Allen Shapiro (reportedly with Irving Azoff’s help) and One Equity Partners.