Apollo Global Management to Buy ‘Idol’ Owner CKX

The all-cash deal totals $509 million

Apollo Global Management, the private equity firm owned by Leon Black, has made a deal to buy CKX, parent company of 19 Entertainment, which produces Fox’s hit show American Idol.

The all-cash deal totaled $509 million, or $5.50 per share of CKX. That price is a 25 percent premium from where the stock closed Monday, and a 40 percent premium from CKX’s closing price over the past six months. CKX's board approved the deal and will recommend that shareholders back it. The sale is expected to close within the next two months.

In addition to Idol—which charges the highest ad rates on TV—CKX also owns So You Think You Can Dance, licensing rights to the names and images of Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley, and runs Presley’s Graceland estate. Apollo wouldn’t comment on its plans for CKX; the equity firm already owns Norwegian Cruise Line, Caesar’s Entertainment Corp., and has stakes in AMC Entertainment and Charter Communications.