London, 30 March 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Baker & McKenzie announced today that it advised CKX, Inc. on the acquisition of 19 Entertainment Limited from Simon Fuller and Ingenious Ventures Limited for £100 million. The transaction, financed by Bear Stearns & Co., is the first UK acquisition for CKX, Inc.
CKX, Inc. is a NASDAQ listed company engaged in the ownership, development and commercial utilisation of entertainment content. Control of the company was recently acquired by Robert F.X. Sillerman, an American entrepreneur who founded the SFX Group. The transaction follows CKX’s recent acquisition of the rights to the name, image and libraries of Elvis Presley.
19 Entertainment is a creator and producer of branded entertainment content, including ‘Pop Idol’ in the UK, ‘American Idol’ in the U.S. as well as versions of the ‘Pop Idol’ format in more than 30 countries. As part of the acquisition, CKX, Inc. has entered into a long term employment agreement with Simon Fuller, the president of 19 Entertainment and the creative force behind 19’s most successful projects, including the Pop Idol television shows and the Spice Girls. Ingenious Ventures is the private equity division of Ingenious Media Plc, a specialist media and entertainment investment and advisory group.
The Baker & McKenzie London team was led by Corporate Partner James Burdett with assistance from Corporate Associates Tim Sheddick and Gareth Hopkins. Assistance was also provided by Finance Partner Annie Williams, Finance Associates Andrew Coddington and Alyona Smith, Tax Partner James macLachlan, Tax Associate James Smith and Employment Associate Anthony Metcalfe-Gibson.
Harbottle & Lewis LLP acted for Simon Fuller and Ingenious Ventures. Latham & Watkins acted for Bear Stearns & Co.