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Former CEO Sillerman Seeks to Boost Holdings in Idol-Owner CKX

Robert F.X. Sillerman, the former chief executive officer of CKX Inc., is seeking to increase his stock holdings in the owner of “American Idol” through private purchases or a public tender offer.

Sillerman, the largest investor in CKX with 21 percent of the stock, is in discussions with a private financing source to make such an offer, according to a regulatory filing today. He stepped down as chairman and CEO May 7 to pursue a possible takeover of the company.

Sillerman’s potential share purchase is a “superior alternative” to the company’s sale to anyone else at current prices or a premium, the filing states. CKX received a $600 million bid last month from an investor group led by Simon Fuller, a person familiar with the offer said at the time. Fuller is the founder of 19 Entertainment and creator of the “Idol” TV series.

The founder of CKX, Sillerman said his possible offer would enable shareholders to benefit from future opportunities and avoid potential payment of a break-up fee, according to the filing. He’s seeking a majority of the outstanding shares and has notified CKX’s board of directors. There’s no assurance he will make any purchases or an offer, according to the filing.

Ed Tagliaferri, a spokesman for CKX, declined to comment.

CKX, which also owns the rights to Elvis Presley’s name and image, fell 7 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $5.23 today in Nasdaq Stock Market trading before the filing was released, giving the company a market value of about $486.7 million. The shares are trading below Fuller’s $6.45 a share takeover offer.

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