"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."

(Leonard Bernstein)


"If you're an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary; If you're not an Elvis fan, no explanation is possible."

(George Klein)


"For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy."

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)


"History has him as this good old country boy, Elvis is about as country as Bono!"

(Jerry Schilling)






Is the sale of EPE a good or bad thing?

Elvis fans have reacted quickly and emotionally to Lisa Presley's sale of majority interest in EPE to Robert Sillerman. Widespread concern and condemnation has been registered on messageboards, through email groups and via an online petition against the sale.

As owner of EPE Lisa has made a decision, while unpopular with many, that she had every right to make and one that we are sure was not taken lightly and one that was only done because Lisa fervently believes it is the appropriate way to ensure the Elvis legacy continues to grow and prosper.

It is EIN's view that Elvis fans should be optimistic about the sale.

It is well known that EPE's earnings have plateaued in the past two years and its business ventures with Elvis Presley's Memphis (now closed) and Heartbreak Hotel have not been the success EPE had originally expected (with a related, significant capital debt to be met).

Add to the mix the "greying" of the core Elvis demographic and the consequent need to open up the Elvis market to a younger generation, and we can appreciate how Lisa Presley and the EPE board could see the need to inject some real dynamism into the EPE business operation. In a capitalist system most major businesses only survive if they grow.

Lisa Presley's decision to sell majority ownership of EPE to Robert Sillerman has the potential to reap substantial benefits in the future. Sillerman's business credentials are impressive and it may just be that it will be the injection of his proven business skills, new ideas and ability to achieve goals that transforms EPE and takes it to the next level.

Many fans fear that the Elvis brand will become something nefarious and that the core element of "Elvis = music" will be lost. Elvis already is a global icon like Mickey Mouse and Coca-Cola, and while Robert Sillerman is sure to develop some new initiatives that will anger (some) fans, hasn't this has always been the case anyway - since EPE opened Graceland and began marketing Elvis as a "trademark" in the 1980s?

Some of us just don't like progress. Sometimes this is warranted, sometimes it isn't.

Rather than get caught up in an emotional reaction to the sale we should view the decision as an exciting opportunity to bring the Elvis legacy to a larger, 'global' family of fans and to introduce the Elvis icon in new and innovative ways to diverse markets worldwide.

Under Sillerman's guidance there is considerable potential to expand the Elvis business empire, attract new fans, and as Lisa Presley has expressly stated, effectively protect and preserve the Elvis legacy for future generations.

Is US$100 million enough for EPE?

Several commentators have suggested the sale price undervalues the worth of the EPE assets. EIN offers the following analysis.

While Elvis has been the #1 earning dead celebrity on the annual Forbes Annual list since it was introduced four years ago, the estimated earnings for EPE ($40 million in 2004) are a gross figure. Net profit is more likely in the range of $5 million to $7 million per annum.

Capitalizing net profit into the future, it means the sale price equates to up to 20 years annual profit based on current net profits.

With plateauing earnings, other business ventures not succeeding and capital debt to be met, Lisa Presley and the EPE board may have internally forecast diminishing returns rather than increased profits if EPE continued to operate solely under their control and direction. At the same time Lisa Presley retains a 15% interest in future profits. And if Robert Sillerman is successful in taking the Elvis brand to the next business level, the profits generated could be significantly greater than what has been achieved by EPE until now.

We also need to remember that Lisa Presley retains ownership of Graceland and all of Elvis' personal belongings, a not insignificant value.

The sale price would have been carefully considered by both parties and Lisa Presley's acceptance of the Sillerman offer would not have been made in isolation from high level financial advice.

Considering all of the above factors it appears the sale price is a reasonable one.

(Comment/Analysis, Source: EIN)








Latest Reviews
CD: Christmas Peace
Book: The Memphis Lullaby
DVD: '68 Comeback Special
DVD: Elvis In Concert (3 hour version)
DVD: This Is Elvis
FTD: One Night In Vegas
CD: Movin' Mobile
CD: Fort Baxter's Greatest Hits
Book: The Tupelo-Memphis Murders
Latest Articles
Elvis Fans - The Following
Redefining Elvis
How Great Thou Art
How did Elvis die?
Elvis Film Bio
500 million fans can't be wrong?
Does Elvis matter?
All about Lisa Presley
Why can't Elvis compete on DVD charts?
Latest Interviews
Red & Sonny West
Paul Simpson
Ed Bonja (Part 2)
Ernst Jorgensen
Phil Aitcheson (Presley Commission)
Did you miss?
Online Elvis Symposium
Exclusive excerpts from "The King Is Dead"
All about Graceland
FTD review- Elvis: New Year's Eve
FTD review: The Impossible Dream
DVD Review: Elvis Presley The Last 24 Hours
Book Review: Pieces of My Life


Elvis Odd Spot (updated 16 Dec 2004)