Idol(TM) Joins Elvis at CKX, Inc. [Nasdaq:CKXE]
F.X. Sillerman's CKX acquires 19 Entertainment, Creator of
American Idol, and partners with founder, Simon Fuller
YORK, March 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/
Entertainment Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a CKX, Inc. (Nasdaq: CKXE),
the control of which was recently acquired by Robert F. X.
Sillerman, announced today that it has acquired 19 Entertainment
Limited, the United Kingdom-based company best known for creating
the American Idol(TM) television program.
addition, CKX has entered into a long-term agreement with
Simon Fuller, the founder and the creative force behind 19's
most successful projects.
transaction follows CKX's recent acquisition of a controlling
interest in Elvis Presley Enterprises, which owns and/or controls
the commercial utilization of the name, image and likeness
of Elvis Presley, the operation of the Graceland museum and
related attractions, as well as revenue derived from Elvis
Presley's television specials, films and certain of his music.
CKX acquired 19 Entertainment from its shareholders, including
Mr. Fuller, for total consideration consisting of 64.5 million
pounds Sterling (US $124.4 million) in cash and 1,870,558
shares of CKX common stock, each paid at closing, and an additional
19.2 million pounds ($36.9 million) in either cash or stock
to be paid following delivery of audited results for the fiscal
year ended June 30, 2005.
Company financed the cash consideration with borrowings and
through the exercise of $25.0 million of outstanding common
stock purchase warrants held by Robert F. X. Sillerman and
other members of management of CKX, the Huff Alternative Fund,
the Company's largest institutional equity investor, and an
affiliate of Huff. The warrants were obtained by Mr. Sillerman,
Huff and the other holders in connection with their initial
investments in the Company in February 2005.
Entertainment, based in the United Kingdom, is a leading creator
and producer of entertainment properties, including American
Idol in the United States, Pop Idol in the United Kingdom,
as well as versions of the Pop Idol format in more than 30
countries around the world.
addition to creating and producing entertainment programming,
the Company has recording contracts with and/or manages or
has managed some of the world's best known musicians and other
artists, including the Spice Girls, Annie Lennox, S Club 7
and former American Idol and Pop Idol participants, such as
Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard and Fantasia.
Company has also entered into an exclusive global joint venture
with David Beckham, one of the most recognized athletes in
the world, and Victoria Beckham, an influential symbol in
both the fashion and music worlds.
on the 19 acquisition, Mr. Sillerman said, "Simon 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. 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."
Fuller added, "This is a hugely exciting new partnership for
myself and 19 Entertainment. 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. Bob Sillerman
is a true visionary. From the very first day we met it was
clear that we shared the same dynamic vision for the direction
of the entertainment industry in the 21st century and the
ever increasing importance of content and creativity. I cannot
wait to get started."
addition to controlling the operations of 19 Entertainment
and its subsidiaries, Mr. Fuller will be appointed a director
of CKX and will play a key role in planning and implementing
the Company's overall creative direction. Mr. Fuller, who
founded 19 Entertainment in 1985, has spent his entire career
in the entertainment industry and has been publicly recognized
as among the most successful British music managers of all
time. CKX is engaged in the ownership, development and commercial
utilization of entertainment content.
more detailed information see our Current Report on Form 8-K,
which may be obtained at the SEC's web site at http://www.sec.gov.
Financial information for CKX can be obtained at the SEC's
website as well. Financial information filed by 19 Entertainment
with the United Kingdom Registrar of Companies under Section
242 of the Companies Act of 1985 can be found at http://www.companies-house.gov.uk/.
### This document includes certain forward-looking statements
within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current
expectations or beliefs, and are subject to uncertainty and
changes in circumstances. Actual results may vary materially
from those expressed or implied by the statements herein due
to changes in economic, business, competitive, technological
and/or regulatory factors, acquisitions of dispositions of
business assets, and the potential impact of future decisions
by management that may result in merger and restructuring
charges, as well as the potential impact of any future impairment
charges to goodwill or other intangible assets. More detailed
information about these factors may be found in filings by
Sports Entertainment Enterprises, Inc. with the Securities
and Exchange Commission. Sports Entertainment Enterprises,
Inc. is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any
such obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements,
whether as a result of new information, future events, or