Michael Jackson Estate in Talks to Sell Music Catalog for Nearly $1 Billion and Maintain Control

Michael Jackson’s estate is working to close a deal that would sell half of The King of Pop’s music catalog for $800-$900 million.

Sources close to the situation say Sony and a possible financial partner are negotiating to acquire 50% of the interests in Jackson’s estate, including the music legend’s publishing, music revenues, the “MJ: The Musical” Broadway show, and the upcoming Michael biopic, Variety reported.

Sony was Jackson’s label throughout most of his career and has been behind some of the biggest catalog deals, like Bruce Springsteen’s publishing and recorded-music catalogs for $600 million, and Bob Dylan’s for $150-$200 million.

More of MJ’s assets are also up for grabs, but on one condition: MJ’s estate must maintain complete control and management, TMZ reported. If the deal is closed, it would become the biggest music catalog package to date, as major artists continue to part ways with their publishing rights and masters.

Last month, Justin Bieber sold 100 percent of his music catalog to the investment firm Hipgnosis Songs Fund for $200 million, CNN reported. Dr. Dre and Neil Young have also made hundreds of millions from selling their catalogs.

In January 2022, John Legend sold his music catalog of songs he wrote from late 2004 through early 2021 to the BMG record label and investment firm KKR for an undisclosed amount, The LA Times reported. The massive music deals come amid rising demand from private investment firms looking to stake a claim in the market.

“It’s a great time to be a seller because the valuations are so high,” Eli Ball, founder of Lyric Financial said. “Legend is still at the top of his game, and he has even more platforms to exploit his music, which is good for him, KKR and BMG.”

Jackson’s estate was listed at $500 million upon his death in 2009 and skyrocketed to $873 million in 2020, according to The Richest. The “Billy Jean” hitmaker reportedly left 40% of his estate to his mother Katherine Jackson.