HomeWorldMichael Jackson's Music Catalog to be Sold for $800-$900 Million by Estate

Michael Jackson’s Music Catalog to be Sold for $800-$900 Million by Estate

Three sources confirm that the Michael Jackson estate is selling half of its holdings in the late singer’s music library in a deal worth between $800 million and $900 million. Sources claim that Sony and a potential financial partner are attempting to buy 50% of the estate’s stakes in Michael Jackson’s publishing, recorded music sales, Broadway production of “MJ: The Musical,” impending film “Michael,” and maybe other assets.

Michael Jackson

The package would represent the most significant offering in the still-exploding music catalog business.

A financial source informed that Primary Wave Music is interested in Jackson’s publishing library, though the specifics needed to be explicit.

Representatives refused various requests for comment for the Jackson estate, co-executors John Branca and John McClain, Sony, and Primary Wave.

Sony has been a part of some of the greatest catalog acquisitions in the past. For a total of about $600 million, it purchased Bruce Springsteen’s publishing and recorded music catalogs. After witnessing the iconic composer sell the publishing rights to Universal Music for close to $400 million, sources claim the business also paid $150 million to $200 million for Bob Dylan’s rights to his recorded music collection. These mega-deals have grown commonplace recently; for example, the three Genesis core members sold a catalog bundle to Concord for $300 million. However, if the reports are true, the Jackson purchase is the largest.

It is yet to be determined whether a financial partner is engaged in the deal because sources would not confirm it. Eldridge Industries collaborated with Sony on the Springsteen catalog deal. They purchased the Killers’ pre-2020 publishing catalog, and Shamrock, which recently partnered with Universal on a $200 million+ catalog acquisition from Dr. Dre, is still likely suspect. In addition, in 2020, a group led by Scooter Braun will likely acquire the rights to Taylor Swift’s first six albums from Shamrock.

Sony and its predecessor CBS exclusively distributed Jackson’s recorded music for the entirety of his solo career and the latter part of his time with the Jackson 5. The singer passed away in 2009 at 50, and Branca, his longtime lawyer, and co-executor John McClain have handled his estate’s strong entertainment interests with a firm hand.

Michael Jackson

One of the most successful recording artists in history, Jackson’s 1982 album “Thriller” alone is one of the two best-selling albums of all time and the first to receive a 30-times platinum certification. However, in the era of streaming, these numbers have become muddied.

With the Jackson estate, Sony Corp. negotiated a $750 million agreement in 2016 to buy out the Jackson estate’s 50% ownership in their 1995 joint venture, Sony/ATV Music Publishing. As part of its $2.3 billion acquisition of EMI Music Publishing, Sony announced in an earnings report from 2018 that it had paid $287.5 million for the Jackson estate’s 25.1% interest in the business.

After that lengthy procedure, which started six years earlier but was not approved by the European Union until 2018, Sony became the sole owner of the largest music publishing corporation in the world. She acquired full ownership of EMI and Sony/ATV.

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