In a huge deal just announced, publishing giant Sony is paying $750m (£526m) to take complete control of the late Michael Jackson‘s stake in the lucrative music catalogue the star had built up over the years.
Sony had already purchased half of the Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalogue and has now formulated a deal to buy the remaining half of the late pop star’s share of the joint music publishing company.
Jackson purchased fifty percent of Sony ATV’s Music Publishing in 1995. BBC News has reported that Sony now has complete control of the catalogue that includes huge songs by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Eminem and Taylor Swift. Interestingly though, the deal does not allow Sony the right to release any of Jackson’s master recordings. All of the songs written by Jackson will be managed and maintained by his estate, which owns his rights under the name Mijac Music.
As you can imagine, this deal with Sony will surely have an impact on the reported $250m debt the Prince of Pop left upon his death.
Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s president and chief executive, said in a statement: “The entertainment businesses have long been a core part of Sony and are a key driver of our future growth. These businesses will continue to contribute to our success for years to come.”
Without doubt, Jackson’s business sense is shown in a favourable light here. John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Jackson estate, said that the deal “further validates Michael’s foresight and genius in investing in music publishing.”
The ATV portion of the catalogue was purchased in 1985 for $41.5m (£29m), and later merged it with Sony Publishing. The superstar’s estate benefits his mother and three children, Prince, Paris and “Blanket”.