In her press release Lisa Marie Presleys quote is a big disappointment, making this deal sound like it is in her fathers interest: My greatest responsibility to my father is to preserve and protect his legacy. Au contraire! This deal is about maximizing Ms. Presleys financial interests with the prospects that visitations to Graceland may continue to slow down with the aging babyboomer fans. Maximizing the return on Elvis and his image has been the focus point of Elvis career since the Colonel got hold of him.’
Lisa Marie talks to Larry King on “The Sale of Graceland” KING: You sold 85 percent of the Presley estate, and it got a lot of controversy. Explain that.
PRESLEY: OK. Well, it’s kind of a misconception in the way it was — it’s a very complicated business deal. It took me weeks to understand it, but it was misleading the way the press ran it, because it is complex. But it wasn’t — there’s two separate entities. There’s Elvis Presley Enterprises and Elvis Presley estate. Now, 85 percent — what we did is we merged with Sillerman. He bought 85 percent of the Enterprises, which is different from the estate. Estate’s mine, his things mine, everything’s still mine and in order. He has the 85 percent, but I also still have — we have a 15.
It was a united decision, because you know, pretty much things don’t stay the same. They either go up or down. So — and we’ve known for a very long time that we need to merge and sort of get with someone, to sort of take it to a bigger and better place than we were able to do, or you know, wanted to do on our own, you know, standing alone.
So it was a united decision that’s been, you know, being deliberated on for years. And so what happened is that the money that came back actually went — got reversed, and the lot of it went right back into stock, to form a huge — a bigger new company, merging with Sillerman, who has got a very good track record, you know.
KING: He sure does.
PRESLEY: And he knows what he’s doing.
KING: And Enterprises includes what, the music?
PRESLEY: Name, likeness, image, music, you know, films, merchandise. You know, things like that.
KING: So you now have in essence 15 percent of that.
PRESLEY: I own 15 percent of that, but we — he and I are partners, and my mother is on the board. There’s a new company now, which is going public, and my mother’s on the board of directors for that. And we — everyone who works at the estate and who has worked at the estate this entire time is still in order, intact, everyone still got their jobs. We all made the decision because we wanted to grow bigger and better.
KING: No one lost anything.
PRESLEY: No one lost anything. CEO is still there, head of — everyone is still there. My family is taken care of. It was something — it was a move we had to make to grow. And oddly enough the money that came out of the sale thing, went right back into — it was the stock, preferred stock in a bigger company, which means that we believe he can take it a lot, you know, to a bigger and better place.