Sony Corp. agreed to buy Michael Jackson’s estate’s half of Sony/ ATV music publishing company, which will give the company control of the King of Pop’s publishing assets that include many of the Beatles’ most famous songs.
According to Billboard, Sony will pay the Jackson estate $750 million for its stake in the joint venture, which was formed 21 years ago. The deal is expected to close in late 2016 or early 2017.
Jackson bought ATV Music Publishing in 1985 for $41.5 million and was attracted to the company because it owned the rights to the majority of The Beatles’ music. It also owns music by Bob Dylan, Eminem, Taylor Swift, and more heavy hitters. In 1996, Jackson and Sony came together to form Sony ATV, under which they bought EMI Music Publishing in 2012. Sony ATV is thought to be the world’s largest music publisher.
The agreement between Sony and Jackson’s estate also ensures the Jackson estate will hold onto 10 percent interest in EMI Music Publishing and Mijac Music, the company that owns songs written by Jackson and his master recordings.
“This transaction further allows us to continue our efforts of maximizing the value of Michael’s Estate for the benefit of his children,” said Jackson estate co-executors John Branca and John McClain in a statement. “It also further validates Michael’s foresight and genius in investing in music publishing. His ATV catalogue, purchased in 1985 for a net acquisition cost of $41.5 million, 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.”
“This acquisition will enable Sony to more quickly adapt to changes in the music publishing business, while at the same time continuing to be an unparalleled leader in the industry and a treasured home for artists and writers,” said Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton in a statement. “All of us at Sony look forward to continuing to work with the Estate to further Michael Jackson’s legacy in many different ways.”