Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesThe estate of Michael Jackson is about to get a lot richer, as the Sony corporation has agreed buy out the late King of Pop’s 50-percent share of the Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalog for $750 million. Sony/ATV is a joint venture Jackson and Sony entered into in 1995 that, according to The New York Times, encompasses more than 1 million copyrights, including about 250 Beatles songs.
Forbes reports that the $750 million will be the most lucrative single payout ever to a music artist, besting the $620 million rap mogul Dr. Dre made when Apple purchased his Beats by Dre company in 2014. The deal is expected to close on March 31.
As The New York Times points out, Jackson decided to buy the ATV publishing catalog, which owned many Beatles songs, after Paul McCartney mentioned to him how valuable music publishing is. MJ purchased the company in 1985 for more than $40 million. He then sold half of his share to Sony for about $100 million in 1995 in the deal that created Sony/ATV.
“This transaction further allows us to continue our efforts of maximizing the value of Michael’s Estate for the benefit of his children,” says the estate’s co-executors, John Branca and John McClain. “It also further validates Michael’s foresight and genius in investing in music publishing. His ATV catalogue…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.”
Jackson’s estate will continue to control the King of Pop’s master recordings, as well as the Mijac Music publishing company, which owns the songs Michael wrote and well as compositions by other famous songwriters that the legendary entertainer purchased over the years. It also will to continue to maintain an interest in the EMI Music Publishing company.
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