Michael Jackson was the world’s most famous entertainer until his untimely death in 2009 due to a drug overdose. He was known not only for his musical and dancing abilities but also his legendary investment skills. In 1985, Jackson purchased a music catalog that included hit songs by the Beatles for $41.5 million. Jackson later merged this catalog with Sony in a lucrative partnership that was known as the ATV catalog. At the time of Jackson’s death, there was much speculation regarding his actual wealth. The singer carried an enormous amount of debt from his lifestyle choices as well as supporting members of his family. But Jackson reportedly told many people that he believed people were out to get him because of his record catalogue.
It has now been announced that the estate of Michael Jackson has agreed to sell half-share in the catalog to Sony for a whopping $750 million deal. This now gives Sony exclusive rights to the music of such artists as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Eminem, Alicia Keys, Taylor Swift and many others. Jackson’s estate has as its beneficiaries his mother Katharine Jackson and his children Prince, Paris and Blanket.
Sony Corp. President and CEO Kazuo Hirai wrote in a statement, “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 executors of Jackson’s estate are quoted as saying, “This transaction further allows us to continue our efforts of maximizing the value of Michael’s Estate for the benefit of his children. It also further validates Michael’s foresight and genius in investing in music publishing.” The sale did not include Jackson’s master recordings or any songs that he wrote. The estate also has a significant share in EMI Publishing, Inc.