Belfast Telegraph

Fuller aims to sell management firm

Simon Fuller has said he intends to sell his latest management firm, which is behind the careers of stars such as David Beckham and Andy Murray, when it is big enough.

The media mogul previously built up another empire, called 19, which he sold off and went on to establish XIX Entertainment, which handles numerous sporting and showbiz stars.

In a rare interview for a Radio 2 programme, Simon said he aimed to do the same with his latest venture which he set up four years ago and last year added Sir Bradley Wiggins to its talent roster.

In tomorrow's documentary, The Fuller Picture: The Simon Fuller Story, he tells of his plan to move on again when the company reaches the right level.

"As an entrepreneur you build a company and you sell it. I'll build another company, in this case XIX, and that'll get to a certain point and I'll sell that. That's what I'll do - I create things and see them through and move on," he said.

Simon set up 19 in the 1980s , expanding from artist management to becoming a major media player, before selling the company to CKX in 2005. He announced in early 2010 that he was setting up XIX, the Roman numerals for 19 which was a nod to the hit single by Paul Hardcastle, who was on Simon's books in the early days.

Through 19, Simon guided the careers of the likes of Will Young, the Beckhams, Annie Lennox and Murray, all of whom are now handled by his latest company.

He also handles the career of Lewis Hamilton and the businessman - estimated to be worth around £375 million - continues to earn a hefty sum as the creator of American Idol.

Speaking in the Radio 2 programme about his decision to sell 19, he said: "Some people could say it was the wrong time to sell. I could have hung on for three more years and sold it for double the money. And that may well be true, but at the time I didn't know that.

"It was a lot of money and I wanted the freedom to think, OK, I'm now richer than I ever could imagine possible. So money was no longer a driver; I can experiment as an entrepreneur, as a creator and do things with no fear.

"And that panned out - when I sold 19 I was liberated. I could do what I wanted."

:: The Fuller Picture: The Simon Fuller Story is broadcast by Radio 2 tomorrow at 10pm.

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