Sony has now agreed to buy out the Michael Jackson estate’s 50% share of Sony/ATV Music Publishing. After paying $750 million to the estate, Sony will then have complete ownership of the music publishing company. Though currently just an understanding between the two companies, they expect to reach an agreement by the end of the month. Then, the deal will close in late 2016/early 2017.
ATV Music has belonged to Jackson since 1985 when he purchased it for over $40 million. A decade later, he sold a 50% share of the company to Sony for over $100 million. This created Sony/ATV Music Publishing. When Jackson died in 2009, his estate was $500 million in debt. But with this new deal, it will now be debt-free with a cash surplus.
Sony’s been in the news a lot recently due to the legal battle with pop star Kesha, who claimed that her former manager and producer Dr. Luke abused her in various ways. Sony spoke out in support of the singer, but released a statement explaining that the contract is not in fact in their power. Recently, rumors started to fly saying that Sony had finally dropped Dr. Luke. However, Dr. Luke’s attorney claims these are not true.
Michael Jackson, known as the King of Pop, was a talented singer, songwriter, recorder, dancer, and actor. He was an icon in popular culture for over four decades. In his career, he released ten studio albums. His latest one, Invincible, was released in 2001. After his death, Jackson became the best-selling albums artist of 2009 (the year of his death). In December of 2010, Sony released Michael, the first posthumous studio album of previously unreleased songs by Jackson. It was also the first release of new Jackson material since Invincible in 2001, almost a decade ago.