Michael Jackson, Sony, publishing, Jackson Estate

Sony Music Acquires Half Of Michael Jackson’s Reported $1.2B Catalog

Sony Music Group has acquired half of Michael Jackson's publishing and recorded masters catalog, which is reportedly worth over $1.2 billion.

Sony Music Group has acquired half of Michael Jackson’s publishing and recorded masters catalog worth over $1.2 billion.

Sony paid Jackson’s estate $600 million in the deal, considered the largest valuation ever of a musician’s music assets, which is said to be worth between $1.2 to $1.5 billion. The acquisition was made late last year and doesn’t include royalties from the MJ Broadway play and other theatrical productions featuring Jackson’s music.

The deal also includes music not made by Jackson as part of his Mijac publishing catalog, including the 250-song Sly & the Family Stone publishing catalog, as well as iconic songs written and/or performed by Jerry Lee Lewis, Jackie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles, Percy Sledge, and Dion.

Early last year, Variety revealed that the deal was in the works, allowing Primary Wave Music to keep a 10% stake in Jackson’s publishing assets. Sony caught a break in the final buyout number as the King of Pop’s estate initially wanted between $800 and $900 million for the acquisition.

Sony has been the home for Jackson’s recorded music catalog throughout his solo career, which included such mammoth hits as “Beat It” and “Thriller,” and the latter part of his tenure with the Jackson 5. Following the singer’s death in 2009 at the age of 50, his estate’s substantial entertainment interests have been diligently managed by his longtime lawyer, John Branca, and executive John McClain.

Seven years after Jackson’s death, Sony Corp. reached a $750 million agreement with MJ’s estate to acquire its 50% stake in the joint venture they launched in 1995, Sony/ATV Music Publishing. In 2018, when Sony released an earnings report showcasing its $2.3 billion acquisition of EMI Music Publishing, it revealed the company also acquired the Jackson estate’s 25.1% stake for $287.5 million.

Jackson’s estate reportedly earns about $75 million annually.

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