The auction for Core Media’s packaged estates of Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali is now in the second round as bids are landing at the the Raine Group, the investment bank running the auction for Core Media. The New York Post reported that bids were due Wednesday (Aug. 14).
Among the suitors expected to place bids are Sony Corp. (on behalf of Sony Music Entertainment and Sony/ATV); and the G2 Investment Group, where former Evergreen Copyrights principal David Schulhof is the managing director of the firm's media business. A couple of companies that mine name and likeness assets are also expected to place bids. Sony Music Entertainment already handles the Presley master recording catalog, so if its bid were successful the company would no longer need to make artist royalty payments to the estate.
Sources say that the properties up for sale generate about $15 million annually in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
In another measure, the Presley publishing catalog, which is currently administered by Imagem, reportedly has $6 million in net publisher's share. That catalog is 50% owned by the Presley estate and 50% owned by the heirs of Hill & Range founder Julian Aberbach and his brother, Jean. The part up for sale has $3 million in net publisher's share.
According to sources, the packaging of the Presley and the Ali assets is making it difficult for bidders to get a handle on the assets, because running those assets and maximizing revenue require diverse skill sets. But not everyone has the expertise to buy and maximize revenue from all of those assets. So sources suggest that interested parties are pairing up to chase the assets they want because owner Core Media won’t bifurcate them.
For example, in addition to the recording masters royalties and the publishing assets, the Presley estate also includes real estate assets like Graceland and Heartbreak Hotel. Sony could buy the music assets, but does the company have expertise in running themed real estate assets like Graceland and the hotel?
While first round bids for the Presley and Ali estate were in the $200 million range, sources say second round bids lowered in the $100 million to $150 million range, because the recognition that both Heartbreak Hotel and the Graceland mansion itself will require a capital infusion in order to upgrade and maintain the properties. There is room to build an adjacent hotel, which would also require a capitol infusion, sources say.
Gear Up for 60th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll
As thousands of fans gather for Elvis Week and prepare for the annual Candlelight Vigil at Graceland this evening, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE) is announcing plans and debuting artwork today for a yearlong celebration to commemorate Elvis’ first professional recording, considered by many music historians to be the birth of the rock ‘n’ roll music movement. Joining EPE’s CEO Jack Soden for the announcement will be Kevin Kane, President of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and Jayne Ellen Brooks from Sun Studio.
On July 5, 1954, Elvis walked into Sun Studio in Memphis and recorded a sped up version of Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right” with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black. Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips first played the song July 8, 1954 on WHBQ radio and the switchboard lit up, the song was repeated fourteen times in a row during the “Red HOT and Blue” broadcast due to public demand. Rock ‘n’ Roll was born and the world of music changed forever.
Kicking off the year-long celebration in 2014 is the New Year’s Eve Hard Rock Café Guitar Drop on world famous Beale Street. Thousands will gather on the famed blues alley in Memphis to take in live music and watch a 10-foot guitar wrapped in the 60 years of Rock ‘n’ Roll art as it descends 100 feet onto Beale Street at midnight in the Central time zone.
On January 8th, fans from around the world will gather at Graceland to celebrate the birth of the undisputed King of Rock ‘n’ Roll as a cake fit for a king is cut during the Elvis Presley Day Proclamation Ceremony. Events continue through the 11th and include a concert by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra as they showcase symphonic interpretations of the songs that helped give Memphis the title of Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
A special exhibition will open at Graceland on March 3, 2014 showcasing Elvis’ impact on music and popular culture over the past 60 years and chronicling the birth of rock ‘n’ roll . The vaults of the Graceland Archives have been opened to help develop this unique exhibit that will be included as part of the Graceland VIP Tour.
The site of Elvis’ first professional recording session, Sun Studio, will be the site of a global celebration on July 5th as Memphis and the world mark the birth of rock ‘n’ roll with Elvis Presley’s recording of “That’s All Right.” Additional details for festivities planned at the famed Memphis recording studio will be announced at a later date.
The impressive ‘ELVIS PRESLEY – ON STAGE’ music experience will kick off a 23 date tour of the United Kingdom starting in April through the end of May, taking the 60th Anniversary celebration on the road to Europe. Using the latest technology, Elvis performs via state-of-the art video screens singing lead vocals backed by a live band, singers and an orchestra. Together, this multi-media creation puts the audience inside an Elvis Presley concert presented exactly like one of his classic live performances in a Las Vegas showroom. The contemporary staging and overall production create the illusion that Elvis is on stage for his finest concert performances. The concert tour schedule is available here, with tickets on sale on September 6, 2013.
During the 60th Anniversary year, the Elvis® Fans Holy Land Tour will take place February 23 - March 4, 2014. Fans will have the chance to explore the Gospel side of Elvis with an Israel tour experience unlike any other. Travelers will cruise the Sea of Galilee, experience the Western Wall and ancient city of Jerusalem, float in the Dead Sea, roam the beaches of Tel Aviv, experience baptism in the Jordan River and much more. More information and how to reserve a spot at Israelthemetours.com/elvis.
An anniversary year of this magnitude will also include the debut of a variety of officially licensed products featuring the 60th Anniversary of Rock ‘n’ Roll artwork. Elvis.com will also celebrate the 60th Anniversary music milestone with an online clock countdown to July 5th, 2014.
A schedule of events for the yearlong celebration, an online countdown clock and additional details about planned festivities can be found at Elvis.com/60years.
(Source: Ed Christman / Billboard / EPE)