Core Media Said Shopping Rights to Presley, Muhammad Ali

The owner of Elvis Presley’s Graceland and Muhammad Ali Enterprises have put the two celebrities’ images and rights up for sale, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Core Media Group Inc., owned by Apollo Global Management LLC, hired Raine Group LLC to handle the possible sale, which includes the 100-acre property in Memphis, Tennessee, said the person, who sought anonymity because the process is private. The assets are worth about $200 million, according to the Financial Times, which reported the action earlier today.

Core Media is seeking to expand its television business, which owns rights to brands including “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” The company expressed interest in buying Endemol NV, the Amsterdam-based producer of TV shows including “Deal or No Deal” and “Wipeout.” A sale of the Presley and Ali properties would help Core revive those efforts, the FT reported.

The two assets produce revenue of about $60 million a year and $23 million of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, the person said.

The Presley family holds a 15 percent stake in Elvis Presley Enterprises, the person said. The family of the former boxing champion owns 20 percent of Muhammad Ali Enterprises.

Core Media’s press office didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail request for comment. Kevin Kern, an Elvis Presley Enterprises spokesman, declined to comment.

Presley Assets

Elvis Presley Enterprises encompasses Graceland’s museum, restaurants and gift shops. Lisa Marie, the singer’s daughter, owns the mansion, its 13 acres and artifacts, according to the website. She leases the property to Elvis Presley Enterprises for tours.

A new owner of the property, which receives about 550,000 visitors annually, could build an adjacent Elvis-themed hotel, license an Elvis Presley stage show at an Asian casino and expand the use of the singer’s image on digital and social media, the FT reported.

The Elvis estate has more than 110,000 pieces of memorabilia, including 3,000 pieces of clothing, 30 vehicles, royalties from 24 films and copyrights and royalties for 1,150 songs, the FT reported.

Muhammad Ali Enterprises includes rights to 11,000 images, footage from the boxer’s life and career and 5,000 pieces of memorabilia, the newspaper said.

Apollo acquired Core Media, previously known as CKX, in 2011 for $509 million.

(Corrects Graceland mansion ownership from first paragraph.)
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