Sony buys back “coveted” music catalog from the estate of Michael Jackson
LOS ANGELES, Cal. (March 15, 2016)–One of the music industry’s most coveted music catalogs that features the works by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Taylor Swift is being bought back from the estate of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, for $750 million dollars by Sony/ATV Music Publishing Company.
The music catalog had been a bargaining chip for Michael Jackson, who purchased the ATV portion of the catalog in 1985 for $41.5 million, and then later merged it with Sony. It remained his most lucrative asset at the time of his death in June 2009. Jackson had used the catalog as collateral in several business deals during the nearly 25 years he had it, but it’s value could not diminish the fact that Jackson was several millions of dollars in debt when he died at the age of 50.
The sale does not include rights to Jackson’s master recordings or songs that he wrote, and the singer’s estate will continue to have a stake in EMI Publishing, Inc.
A portion of the proceeds will be used to finish the pay-down of $500 million in debt that the estate held seven years ago, leaving it completely debt-free and with cash on hand, according to a source. After taxes, fees and expenses, the balance will be transferred to a trust for the benefit of Michael’s beneficiaries: his three children