The 64-year-old former heavyweight champion, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, will retain a 20% interest in the business. The new venture will be operated by a company called GOAT LLC, an acronym for "The Greatest of All Time".

Ali and wife Lonnie are expected to work with CKX Inc to market his interests around the world. The deal includes trademarks owned by the boxing great.

Ali said in a statement issued on Tuesday by the company: "This relationship with CKX will help guarantee that, for generations to come, people of all nations will understand my beliefs and my purpose. I am honoured to be able to partner with CKX as they continue to grow."

CKX has concentrated primarily on entertainment and holds the rights to the IDOLS television brand, which includes the show, American Idol. It also holds the rights to Elvis Presley's marketing, and has an interest in the operations of Graceland, Presley's Memphis, Tennessee, home.