The highest earning musician in history, the “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson’s 50% share in Sony/ATV has been sold to Sony in a major deal with his estate.
Even 7 years after his death Michael Jackson is still making billions of dollars. In a monumental deal Sony have bought MJ’s shares in Sony/ATV from Jackson’s estate. After reaching a $750 million agreement Sony will now take complete ownership over Sony/ATV Music Publishing, 50% of which had before belonged to Michael Jackson and then his estate.
CEO of Sony Entertainment, Michael Lynton said: “When Sony first partnered with Michael Jackson 21 years ago to create Sony/ATV Music Publishing we knew that this company had the ability to reach great heights. This acquisition will enable Sony to more quickly adapt to changes in the music publishing business, while at the same time continuing to be an unparalleled leader in the industry and a treasured home for artists and writers. We want to express our gratitude to the Estate of Michael Jackson and to the Jackson family for their years of partnership. All of us at Sony look forward to continuing to work with the Estate to further Michael Jackson’s legacy in many different ways.”
The deal, which comes as a memorandum of understanding (MOU), doesn’t impact on any other assets of Jackson’s estate such as his actual music as well as his music publishing company Mijac Music. The deal also emits any other artists’ tracks purchased by Jackson in his lifetime and his share in EMI Music Publishing which Sony acquired in 2012.
The Jackson Estate’s co-executors John Branca and John McClain spoke on the deal, saying: “This transaction further allows us to continue our efforts of maximising the value of Michael’s Estate for the benefit of his children. It also further validates Michael’s foresight and genius in investing in music publishing. His ATV catalog, purchased in 1985 for a net acquisition cost of $41.5 million, was the cornerstone of the joint venture and, as evidenced by the value of this transaction, is considered one of the smartest investments in music history.”
This deal reportedly comes under an agreement between Sony and Michael Jackson formed in 1995 when they entered their joint venture. The agreement allows either party to buy outright the other partner’s interest, a process that Sony began last September.
Sony president and CEO, Kazuo Hirai said: “The entertainment businesses have long been a core part of Sony and are a key driver of our future growth. This agreement further demonstrates Sony’s commitment to the entertainment businesses t and our firm belief that these businesses will continue to contribute to our success for years to come.”
The agreement is set to be finalised on the 31st March.