November 19 - "Elvis" Sold!

Authentic Brands, which owns the rights to Marilyn Monroe’s image and likeness, is adding Elvis Presley and Muhammed Ali to its celebrity stable. The brand licensing company, backed by private-equity firm Leonard Green, has struck a deal to acquire the Elvis Presley and Muhammed Ali assets being sold by Apollo’s Core Media. 

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but last month The Post reported that Authentic Brands had emerged as the lead bidder after upping its offer to $125 million. Authentic has snapped up the rights to a number of dead celebrities, including screen siren Marilyn Monroe and reggae legend Bob Marley.

“The licensing and merchandising aspect of this business is not to be confused with the fact that the property will always remain with me and my family. However, this is a great partnership for our family and Elvis fans worldwide.”

Weinshanker will oversee the management of Graceland operations, Elvis’ home in Memphis, Tenn., with Authentic Brands and the Presley family as partners.

“We will usher in a new era of an enhanced Graceland experience, run for the fans, by a fan,” Weinshanker said.

"We are honored to welcome Elvis into the ABG brand portfolio and look forward to working alongside the Presley family and the team at Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) to increase Elvis' popularity and fan base worldwide," said Jamie Salter, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Authentic Brands Group, LLC.

"This is an exciting day for Elvis and his fans," said Priscilla Presley. "We look forward to working with the ABG team to further promote the legacy of Elvis. This is the opportunity the family has been envisioning to expand the Graceland experience and enhance Elvis' image all over the world."

"While I will continue to own Graceland and the original artifacts, we are looking forward to working with our new partners to continue the growth and expansion we have been working towards," said Lisa Marie Presley. "The licensing and merchandising aspect of this business is not to be confused with the fact that the property will always remain with me and my family. However, this is a great partnership for our family and Elvis fans worldwide."

In connection with the acquisition, ABG will assume the global rights to a vast library of photographic imagery, including artwork, album covers and movie posters; video and audio assets, including television appearances and music specials; Elvis' name and likeness; and other assets, including the rights to major Elvis themed events such as Elvis Week, an international celebration of Elvis' life and legacy.

In connection with the transaction, Joel Weinshanker will acquire the rights to the management of Graceland operations, Elvis' home in Memphis, Tennessee, with ABG and the Presley family as partners. Graceland recently captured the #1 spot on USA Today and 10Best's "Best Iconic American Attractions".

"It is with great honor, and a profound sense of responsibility that we assume ownership of the Graceland operations," said Weinshanker. "We will usher in a new era of an enhanced Graceland experience, run for the fans, by a fan. Graceland is Elvis Presleys' castle, and I look forwardto helping take this global landmark to new and exciting heights.We look forward to continuing to give visitors to Graceland, whether online or inperson, whether their first visit or their 500 th, a world class experience."

(Source: PRNewswire / NY Times)