Saturday, June 2, 2007

Elvis Is Being Sold Again

Posted By on Sat, Jun 2, 2007 at 4:00 AM

The publicly traded company that owns the rights to the likeness of Elvis Presley and operates Graceland is going to become a privately held company.

CKX Inc. is "going private" in a deal with management, including Robert F.X. Sillerman, who is the company's largest shareholder and current CEO. The stock price of CKX (symbol CKXE on the Nasdaq) rose 35 percent Thursday after the proposal was made public.

In addition to the Elvis connections, CKX also licenses the likeness of Muhammad Ali and owns the rights to American Idol. The company has plans for a massive investment in Whitehaven near Graceland.

According to filings made public Friday by CKX, a subsidiary of the company owns "the right to use Elvis Presley-related intellectual property in connection with designing, constructing, operating, and promoting Elvis Presley-themed hotels, casinos, theme parks, lounges, clubs and restaurants."

The company plans to build and operate one or more hotels and an expanded visitor center near Graceland.

Another Elvis deal involves a permanent Elvis show at the MGM Mirage casino in Las Vegas.

The deal is the subject of a story in Friday's Wall Street Journal, which is available only to paid subscribers.

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