Monday, June 17, 2024

Michael Jackson Debt-Free At Last: Sony Music Buying His Part of Beatles Catalog, Publishing Company for $750 Mil


The long saga of Michael Jackson, Sony Music Publishing and the Beatles is coming to an end. Sony/ATV is buying Michael’s estate out of his half the company for $750 million. On March 31st, the Estate will receive a lump sum of $733 million.

Michael Jackson, dead since June 2009, in debt since the 90s, is finally debt free. The shadow that hung over him is finally gone. And he’s not here to see it. What a shame.

The music of John Lennon and Paul McCartney is now fully owned by Sony Music Publishing.

The Jackson estate can now presumably pay off its massive debt and whatever loans remained. When Michael died, he was leveraged to the hilt and owed around $320 million. There were on and off liens against Neverland Ranch and Michael’s family home. The ranch was eventually lost, and is now for sale. In desperation, Michael agreed to 50 or more concerts in London. You know the rest.

Of course, Michael could have sold out years ago and avoided a lot of angst and maybe even his own death. But the Beatles catalog became like the ring in Lord of the Rings or Wagner’s music cycle. No one would part with it voluntarily.

The money will go into the Jackson estate and eventually to Michael’s three children, Prince, Paris and Blanket.

But first, as per Sony’s statement: “The payment also reflects certain contractual and accounting adjustments related to the Sony/ATV joint venture and other commercial opportunities involving Sony and the Estate.”


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News