Latham, Paul Weiss Represent Deal for Elvis and Muhammad Ali Rights

— by Brian Baxter

Consumer marketing and branding company Authentic Brands Group (ABG) has acquired the licensing rights to Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali from Core Media Group.

Though the sum paid by ABG to acquire both properties was not disclosed, the New York Post reported that the price tag for the Presley rights alone is thought to be as much as $125 million. ABG is backed by Los Angeles-based private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is advising Core Media through partner James Schwab, who chairs the firm’s media and entertainment group, along with corporate associates D. Branch Furtado and Michael Vogel. All are in New York.

Core Media’s general counsel is Paul Weiss alum Peter Hurwitz.

Howard Sobel, cochair of Latham & Watkins‘ U.S. private equity group, is taking the lead for the company on its acquisition along with M&A partner Paul Kukish. Other Latham lawyers are finance partner Joshua Tinkelman, IP partner Jeffrey Tochner, antitrust partner Bradd Williamson, and environmental counsel David Langer. Associates are Colin Bumby, corporate; Lori Goodman, tax; Jeremy Kimball and Alex Schwartz. All are in New York. Also working on the deal are tax partner Joseph Kronsnobl and associate Patty Liu in Chicago; antitrust counsel Sydney Smith in Washington; and banking associate Benjamin Thompson in London.

Terri DiPaolo serves as general counsel for ABG.

ABG is teaming up on the deal with Joel Weinshanker, chairman and founder of the National Entertainment Collectibles Association. Once the deal closes, ABG will partner with NECA to own and manage the intellectual property of Ali and Presley, in conjunction with their respective families.

Cooley partners Cathy Hershcopf, corporate restructuring and banking; Janet Cullum, IP; and Jeremy Naylor, tax, are advising NECA. All are in New York.

Among other things, the Presley purchase gives ABG and NECA the right to operate Graceland, the Memphis mansion where Presley lived and died that draws more than 600,000 visitors a year.

Simpson Thacher, S&C Land Roles on $2 Billion CVS Deal

— Sara Randazzo

CVS Caremark has entered into an agreement to buy Apria Healthcare Group’s Coram infusion therapy business for approximately $2.1 billion in cash, the two companies announced last week. Sullivan & Cromwell is advising first-time M&A client CVS, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is serving as outside counsel to Apria, which is owned by private equity giant and longtime Simpson Thacher client, The Blackstone Group.

Once completed, the purchase will give CVS—which owns 7,600 pharmacies, as well as a mail-order prescription operation—a business that provides more than 20,000 patients each month with intravenous and tube-feeding treatments for conditions including immune and nutritional deficiencies, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, according to a CVS press release. Apria will continue to own a respiratory therapy business after the deal closes.

Denver-based Coram is estimated to generate about $1.4 billion in revenue in its first 12 months under CVS ownership. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of next year. CVS said in its press release that it does not anticipate any material impact on its 2014 finances as a result of the acquisition, which the company expects will add between 3 and 5 cents to its adjusted earnings per share in 2015.

S&C partner Matthew Hurd is serving as lead M&A counsel for CVS. The team also includes finance partner S. Neal McKnight and special counsel Michael Torkin, executive compensation and employee benefits partner Matthew Friestedt, tax partner Ronald Creamer Jr., intellectual property special counsel Spencer Simon, environmental special counsel Matthew Brennan, and associates Ari Blaut, Guy Inbar, Nicholas Krainak, Joyce Kwok, Alice Lee, Anca Mihaela Paraian, Collette Shin and Michael Snypes Jr. All are in New York.

Dechert partner Michael Cowie, based in Washington, is advising CVS on antitrust matters.

Thomas Moriarty serves as the general counsel of CVS.

Lawyers from Simpson Thacher advising Apria are M&A partner and Simpson Thacher chairman William Dougherty, banking and credit partner J. Alden Millard, capital markets partner Igor Fert, tax partner Gary Mandel, executive compensation and employee benefits partner Gregory Grogan, antitrust partner Joseph Tringali and senior counsel Michael Naughton, environmental senior counsel Michael Isby and associates Ellen Frye, Daniel Kay, Kevin Lehpamer, Jennifer Pepin, Marcela Robledo, Jodi Sackel, Jason Vollbracht, Erik Wang and Benjamin Wells. All are in New York.

Blackstone’s chief legal officer is John Finley, a former Simpson Thacher executive committee member.

Robert Holcombe is Apria’s general counsel.