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Sillerman Buys 19 Entertainment

Mar 18, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Sports Entertainment Enterprises, the entertainment company controlled by Robert F.X. Sillerman, on Friday agreed to buy 19 Entertainment, the company behind “American Idol,” for 83.7 million pounds ($160.6 million).

The acquisition made through a combination of cash and stock, follows Sports Entertainment’s purchase late last year of Elvis Presley Enterprises.

As part of the deal, 19 Entertainment founder Simon Fuller will become a director at Sports Entertainment, which does business under the name CKX Inc., and Mr. Fuller and CKX will enter into a long-term agreement to assist in planning and implementing CKX’s creative direction.

In addition to producing “American Idol” 19 Entertainment produces other versions of the singing competition show for 30 countries around the world under the “Pop Idol” name. In addition, the company has recording contracts with and serves as manager for a number of “Idol” winners and participants, including Kelly Clarkson, Reuben Studdard, Clay Aiken and Fantasia. The company has also entered into a joint venture with soccer great David Beckham and his wife Victoria.

Under the CKX umbrella, the expectation is that Mr. Fuller and 19 Entertainment will assist CKX in growing and developing and distributing entertainment content.