Just three suitors have expressed interest in the sale of the EPE marketting assets, which will be sold alongside those of Muhammad Ali, just two weeks before initial bids are due, sources say. 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.
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, they jacked up the ticket price and merchandise.”
However, revenues of the estate have been hurt by the closure last fall of the “Viva Elvis” show 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. Sony/ATV would tie up with a partner to take on operations at Graceland.
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.
EPE was acquired by CKx in 2005 when its CEO Bob Sillerman, paid $100 million for an 85 percent stake.
The 15% balance, including Graceland itself and Elvis' possessions, is held by Lisa Marie Presley.
source: Brian Quinn and Elvis Information Network