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Sony Pays $750M for Michael Jackson’s Estate Share of Music Library

 

Sony Pays $750M for Michael Jackson’s Estate Share of Music Library

By Burt Carey

Sony, the world’s largest music company, has agreed to buy out the estate of Michael Jackson in a deal that closes half of the company’s ownership for $750 million.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing holds the rights to some of the highest-valued music of all time, including hits by the Beatles and Bob Dylan, and more recently Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga.

Sony, Michael Jackson, lucrative deals, commitments to the entertainment businessesThe lucrative deal benefits Jackson’s estate, which registered a half-billion in debt when the superstar artist died in 2009 at the age of 50. Billboard reports that posthumous business deals have made Jackson the No. 1-grossing dead musician and reversed the debt to a $500 million profit for Jackson’s estate, which benefits his mother, Katherine, and three children, Prince, Paris and Blanket.

Jackson paid $41.5 million for ATV Music Publishing in 1985 from Robert Holmes à Court, and later merged the company with Sony. Attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain, co-executors of Jackson’s estate, say that was one of the most lucrative deals ever in the music industry.

“This transaction further allows us to continue our efforts of maximizing the value of Michael’s Estate for the benefit of his children,” Branca and McClain wrote in a statement. “It also further validates Michael’s foresight and genius in investing in music publishing.”

The sale does not include rights to Jackson’s master recordings or songs he wrote. Jackson’s estate retains its stake in EMI Publishing, Inc.

“This agreement further demonstrates Sony’s commitment to the entertainment businesses and our firm belief that these businesses will continue to contribute to our success for years to come,” Sony Corp. president and CEO Kazuo Hirai wrote in a statement.

Since Jackson’s death, Branca and McClain have pulled off lucrative deals that have not just reversed the debt amassed during Jackson’s lifetime, but turned it into a substantial profit. They fought with Jackson’s family to release Michael Jackson’s This Is It, which the artist was in the midst of producing when he died. The release just four months after Jackson’s death in July 2009 became the highest-grossing music documentary ever, producing more than $300 million in sales worldwide.

The pair struck a deal with Sony for seven albums that netted another $200 million. Billboard estimates total worldwide sales of about 43 million copies since Jackson’s death. Combined with joint ventures with Cirque du Soleil, for past shows as well as continuing box office receipts in Las Vegas, Mijac Music and Bally Technologies, the Jackson estate is on track to earn in excess of $100 million annually for the foreseeable future.

Source:  Baret News

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