(FORTUNE Magazine) – From Elvis to Ali
When we told you the story of Robert Sillerman ("The Man Who Bought Elvis," Dec. 12, 2005), we suggested that the media mogul, who had bought the rights to Elvis Presley as well as the TV show American Idol and soccer star David Beckham, was primed to pick up more assets. In mid-April, Sillerman did just that, paying $50 million to buy an 80% stake in the name and likeness of Muhammad Ali.
Sillerman is tightlipped about how he will market The Greatest but rules out downscale items like mugs or fragrances. "We are close to an idea that is a product," says Sillerman, "and it is something that reflects Muhammad Ali's integrity, courage, and his great success." What comes after that? Sillerman says only this: "Alan Alda sent me an e-mail after we announced the deal with Muhammad Ali, saying, 'I understand you have bought the name and likeness to George Washington, and have licensed his image to the U.S. Treasury to be used on currency.' " Don't be surprised ... -- Andy Serwer
Browder in Exile
Hedge fund manager Bill Browder ("Billion-Dollar Bet on Russia," Feb. 23, 2004) has long been a vocal defender of Russian President Vladimir Putin's policies.
So it was odd when, in November, he was refused entry at a Moscow airport after a trip to Britain. Browder, whose Moscow-based, $4.1 billion Hermitage Fund has pushed for transparency at energy giants like Gazprom, still can't get in. "I stepped on someone's toes because of corporate governance, and this is the pushback from that," he says from his newly rented two-room office in London's Covent Garden. Absence hasn't hurt performance: Hermitage is up 53% since November. -- Nelson D. Schwartz