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Impresario Pays $100 Million for Elvis Presley Estate

The Elvis Presley estate is getting all shook up.

Impresario Robert F.X. Sillerman said on Thursday he agreed to buy 85 percent of Presley's estate, including rights to the singer's name and the management of his famed Graceland mansion, in a deal worth $100 million.

Sillerman, who founded and later sold radio operator SFX Broadcasting and concert promoter SFX Entertainment, will acquire the stake in Elvis Presley Enterprises from Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

He called Elvis, famed as the "King of Rock 'n' Roll" the "most significant icon in American pop culture."

As well as running Graceland, Presley's home in Memphis, Tennessee, Sillerman will own his name and likeness, the rights to his photographs and revenue from his music, TV shows and films such as "Jailhouse Rock."

The title to Graceland and its surrounding property, including most of Presley's personal effects, will remain with Lisa Marie Presley.

Graceland's visitor complex and "Heartbreak Hotel" across the street will be sold. Presley, who died at Graceland in 1977, starred in 31 films and has sold over a billion records. More than 600,000 people visit Graceland each year.

Elvis Presley Enterprises generated $45 million in revenue in 2003 and $38 million in the first three quarters of this year. Sillerman said in a statement he would pay $53 million in cash, assume $25 million of Elvis Presley Enterprises debt and pay the balance in shares.

Lisa Marie Presley said she had sought a partner for several years to help expand Elvis Presley Enterprises and hoped the deal would preserve her father's legacy.

"My greatest responsibility to my father is to preserve and protect his legacy, and this is an exciting new structure that opens up an incredible array of opportunities," she said.

Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie's mother and Presley's former wife, will remain executive consultant to the business.

(News, Source: Reuters)

EPE media release on sale of EPE

Robert F.X. Sillerman And EPE Announce Partnership

Here is a press release from EPE. December 16, 2004

Robert F.X. Sillerman and his new media and entertainment company, which will be named CKX, Inc., have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in the assets comprising the estate of Elvis Presley.

The new partnership will conduct all business activities concerning EPE, Graceland and tour operations, however the transaction was structured so that the title to Graceland and its 13.6-acre grounds in Memphis, TN, and most of Elvis’s personal effects remain with Lisa Marie Presley.

The new partnership includes all trademark rights to the name, likeness and image of Elvis Presley and all EPE-owned intellectual property, including its collection of photographs, archival documents and footage, and EPE’s successful music publishing catalog, as well as the Graceland visitor center complex and Heartbreak Hotel across the street from the mansion and all other EPE real estate investments.

In a related transaction, Mr. Sillerman announced that he expects, through an affiliated entity, to acquire approximately 94 percent of the common equity of Sports Entertainment Enterprises, Inc. [OTC BB:SPEA.OB], an inactive publicly traded company, through which the business of CKX will be conducted. Please see Mr. Sillerman’s and SPEA’s releases for further information on this transaction.

“For the past few years I’ve been looking for someone to join forces with to expand the many facets of EPE, to take it to new levels internationally, and to make it an even greater force in the entertainment industry,” said Lisa Marie Presley, singer/songwriter and sole heir to the Elvis Presley Estate. “I feel confidant that Bob Sillerman and his team are the right people to do this with. My greatest responsibility to my father is to preserve and protect his legacy, and this is an exciting new structure that opens up an incredible array of opportunities with a major infusion of new investment capital to do just that,” continued Presley. “It’s the ideal partnership in that I retain Graceland and my father’s personal effects, yet joining forces with Bob Sillerman will give us the opportunity to grow even further the intellectual and entertainment properties.”

Commenting on the transaction, Mr. Sillerman said, “I am extremely excited about our new venture, which we believe will bring unique concepts to different aspects of the utilization of entertainment content and will challenge the current models of distribution and consumption of content. I am fully committed to the success of CKX and there is no better way to launch our new company than by assuming the opportunity and responsibility, together with the Presley family and the current management of Elvis Presley Enterprises, of continuing and expanding the heritage of Elvis Presley. I believe Elvis to be the single most significant icon in American pop culture.”

No staffing or personnel changes are anticipated within the EPE organization. Priscilla Presley remains as an executive consultant, Jack Soden remains as CEO and Gary Hovey remains Executive Vice President and head of the Los Angeles office. All of EPE’s management team and staff will remain in place and Graceland tour operations will continue with business as usual.

EPE was created in 1980 by Priscilla Presley on behalf of the Elvis Presley estate. Its business extends far beyond the Graceland operation. It includes worldwide licensing of Elvis-related products and ventures, the development of Elvis-related music, film, video, television and stage productions, the ongoing development of EPE’s Internet presence, the management of significant music publishing assets, the Heartbreak Hotel in Memphis and more.

Mr. Sillerman was the founder, a major shareholder and served as Executive Chairman of SFX Entertainment from its inception in 1997 until its sale to Clear Channel Communications in August 2000. SFX Entertainment was the largest presenter, promoter and producer of live events in the world. Prior to that, Mr. Sillerman was a founder, major shareholder and served as Executive Chairman of SFX Broadcasting, a major owner and operator of radio stations, from its inception in 1992 through its sale in 1998 to an affiliate of buyout firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst.

Note from EPE


Knowing of what great interest this news is to Elvis fans worldwide, they anticipate many e-mail messages with inquiries and comments. EPE will not be able to answer all those messages individually. However, they will be posting more information here in the newssection on their site as it becomes available to share with you and they will be constructing a special Frequently Asked Questions section to respond to the collected inquiries and comments. Please send any messages to our general company e-mail address graceland@elvis.com. Your message will be acknowledged with a form response and then added to the file EPE will use as a reference for constructing the FAQ and the continuing news postings about this great new development for Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. and the world of Elvis at large. Thank you very much.

From the Billboard Radio Monitor

The move was funded through a complicated transaction in which Sillerman's RFX acquired a 94% controlling interest in Sports Entertainment Enterprises for $3.43 million.

In exchange for total consideration of approximately $100 million, Lisa Marie Presley will contribute 85% of the outstanding equity interests of the assets comprising her father's estate. She will retain a 15% interest in the two Presley entities, which will operate as 85%-controlled subsidiaries of Sillerman's newly formed media and entertainment company, CKX, Inc.

The Elvis businesses had total revenue of $44.9 million for 2003 and $37.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2004. Net operating income before depreciation and amortization for those periods was $12 million and $9.4 million, respectively.

The deal is structured so the title to Graceland and most of Presley's personal effects remain with Lisa Marie Presley.

From Business Wire

As part of the transaction, RFX will contribute $3.43 million to SPEA in exchange for 34,320,124 newly issued shares of SPEA common stock. In addition to the shares received from the company, RFX will receive warrants to purchase 8,689,599 shares of the common stock at $1.00 per share, warrants to purchase 8,689,599 shares of common stock at $1.50 per share, and warrants to purchase 8,689,599 shares of common stock at $2.00 per share.

Simultaneous with this exchange, RFX will also acquire an aggregate of 2,240,397 shares of the company's common stock directly from certain principal stockholders of the company at a price of $0.10 per share. Upon consummation of these transactions, RFX and its affiliates including Mr. Sillerman will own approximately 94 percent of the outstanding common stock of the Company, and assuming exercise of the warrants, will own approximately 96 percent of the then outstanding common stock of the company.

Simultaneous with RFX's contribution, Ms. Presley will contribute 85 percent of the outstanding equity interests of the two entities that own the assets of and control the Presley businesses in exchange for total consideration of approximately $100 million, consisting of approximately $53 million in cash, approximately $22 million in Preferred Stock of SPEA, 500,000 shares of SPEA common stock and the assumption or extinguishment of approximately $25 million of outstanding indebtedness. Ms. Presley will retain a 15 percent interest in the two Presley entities, which will operate as 85 percent-controlled subsidiaries of the company.

Source: EPE










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