Sony To Acquire Michael Jackson’s Share Of Sony/ATV Estate For $750 Million

Michael Jackson. Photo: Michael Jackson Facebook.

Michael Jackson. Photo: Michael Jackson Facebook.

Sony Corporation of America has signed an agreement to obtain full ownership of Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC by acquiring the 50 percent interest in Sony/ATV held by the Michael Jackson Estate, for $750 million. The purchase includes a lump sum payment of $733 million, as well as distributions previously committed to by Sony/ATV to be paid to the Michael Jackson estate.

“The entertainment businesses have long been a core part of Sony and are a key driver of our future growth,” said Kazuo Hirai, President and CEO of Sony Corporation. “This agreement further demonstrates Sony’s commitment to the entertainment businesses and our firm belief that these businesses will continue to contribute to our success for years to come.”

The purchase process began in September, as Sony exercised a right that has been in place since joint venture was formed between Jackson and Sony in 1995.

The transaction will not affect its continuing interests in other music assets, including all of Michael Jackson’s master recordings as well as Mijac Music, the publishing company that owns all songs written by Jackson, as well as songs by some of his favorite songwriters and artists that were acquired by Jackson during his life. The Jackson estate will also retain its ownership interest in EMI Music Publishing.

“This transaction further allows us to continue our efforts of maximizing the value of Michael’s Estate for the benefit of his children,” said John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the estate. “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.”

“When Sony first partnered with Michael Jackson 21 years ago to create Sony/ATV Music Publishing, we knew that this company had the ability to reach great heights,” said Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment, Inc. “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. We want to express our gratitude to the Estate of Michael Jackson and to the Jackson family for their years of partnership. All of us at Sony look forward to continuing to work with the Estate to further Michael Jackson’s legacy in many different ways.”


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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