Michael Jackson’s Estate Reportedly In Talks To Sell Half Of Its Holdings In Singer’s Music Catalog For More Than $800M

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson’s Estate Reportedly In Talks To Sell Half Of Its Holdings In Singer’s Music Catalog For More Than $800M

Michael Jackson’s estate is allegedly negotiating a deal to sell half of its holdings in the late singer’s music library for between $800 and $900 million.

Sources claim that Sony and a potential financial partner are negotiating to acquire 50 percent of the estate’s interests in Michael Jackson‘s publishing, recorded-music revenues, the Broadway production of MJ: The Musical, the upcoming biopic Michael, and possibly more assets.

And if the reports are true, the package will, by far, be the biggest deal of its kind to date.

It exceeds Justin Bieber‘s publishing deal, which was the greatest rights sale for an artist of the Canadian singer’s generation. As you may recall, last month Justin Bieber sold all of his artist royalties from his master recordings and neighboring rights to Hipgnosis Songs for a little over $200 million.

justin bieber

For the entirety of Michael Jackson’s solo career and the latter part of his time with the Jackson 5, Sony and its predecessor CBS served as the only outlets for his recorded music.

The estate and Sony Corp. negotiated an agreement in 2016 for Sony Corp. to pay $750 million for the Jackson estate’s 50 percent ownership in their joint venture, Sony/ATV Music Publishing. The company disclosed in an earnings report the following year that, as part of its $2.3 billion acquisition of EMI Music Publishing, Sony paid $287.5 million to acquire the estate’s 25.1 percent share.

Sony subsequently became the sole owner of the largest music publishing organization in the world after acquiring all of EMI and Sony/ATV.

Sony has reportedly been involved in acquiring some of the largest known catalog deals, including Bruce Springsteen‘s publishing and recorded-music catalogs for a combined price of approximately $600 million. The company also allegedly paid $150 million to $200 million for Bob Dylan‘s catalog rights after the musician sold his publishing rights to Universal Music for close to $400 million.

Sources declined to confirm the financial partner in the deal, and it is still unclear whether one is definitely involved. However, likely suspects would include Shamrock, which recently partnered with Universal on a $200 million+ catalog acquisition from Dr. Dre. Eldridge Industries, which recently acquired the Killers‘ pre-2020 publishing catalog while partnering with Sony on the massive Springsteen catalog deal, is another contender.

The recorded music collection for Jackson — who passed away in 2009 at the age of 50 — is one of the most successful in history. His 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.

What are your thoughts on the overall deal? Let us know in the comments!


Authored by: S. G.