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 Elvis rights don’t exactly attract burning love

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PostSubject: Elvis rights don’t exactly attract burning love   Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:56 am

Few court a king
Elvis rights don’t exactly attract burning love

The sale of marketing rights to the Elvis Presley estate is shaping up as a real Heartbreak Hotel, The Post has learned.

Just three suitors have expressed interest in the assets — which will be sold alongside those of Muhammad Ali — just two weeks before initial bids are due, sources said.

The two assets are expected to fetch a total of $200 million, sources said.

The low turnout is not unexpected, as the Elvis assets being sold by Apollo Global Management are varied, running the gamut of music rights, a hotel, tours, potential movie rights, The King’s image and likeness, and more — which require a wide spectrum of talents and abilities for any one suitor.


Apollo will cancel the sale if it fails to attract what it considers a minimum bid, sources said.

The potential bidders include music-publishing company Sony/ATV, and investment firms Guggenheim Partners and G2 Investment Group.

G2 is run by Todd Morley, a former Guggenheim Partners executive.

The Raine Group, which is executing the sale on behalf of Apollo’s Core Media unit, previously known as CKx, has set a June 26 deadline for first-round offers.

“The current owners really did all they could with the Elvis estate,” one banking source told The Post. “They jacked up the ticket price and merchandise.”

However, revenues of the estate have been hurt, the source added, by the shuttering last fall of the “Viva Elvis” show at the MGM in Las Vegas.

The Raine Group is working in concert with entertainment lawyer John Branca, an executor of the Michael Jackson estate.

A bid by Sony/ATV — co-owned by the Michael Jackson estate — would be aimed at acquiring the Elvis music catalog included in the assets, sources said.

Sony/ATV would tie up with a partner that could take on operations at Graceland, Elvis’ former home in Memphis, Tenn.

Given Sony/ATV’s siblings, Sony Pictures and Sony Pictures TV, the company would be well placed to polish the Elvis brand.

G2, according to a source, is interested in both the Elvis and Ali businesses.

A bid by Guggenheim Partners fits in with the company’s focus on live music and sports events.

Core Media, then CKx, was purchased by Apollo Global Management for $509 million in 2011. At the time, Apollo was expecting returns from “Viva Elvis” to run for some time.

Elvis Enterprises was acquired by CKx in 2005 when its CEO Bob Sillerman, paid $100 million for an 85 percent stake.

The balance is held by Lisa Marie Presley.

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