Michael Jackson's Posthumous Pay Day


(Hypebot) – Record labels are worth a fraction of what they were used be. But, as yesterday's $750 million Sony/ATV deal illustrates, music publishing is still a hot sale target at impressive multiples. And if rate renegotiations continue trending upward and streaming issues get resolved, publishers could be worth even more.


Sony Corporation and the Estate of Michael Jackson announced today that Sony's U.S. subsidy has signed a binding memorandum to purchase full ownership of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, acquiring the 50% interest held by the Estate for $750 million in cash.


From A $41.5 Million Investment


Jackson purchased his ATV catalog, which was the cornerstone of the company sold yesterday in 1985 for $41.5 million.


Parent Sony Corp has struggled in recent years, and this purchase represents a major bet on music. "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 sale is the culmination of a process that began in September 2015 when Sony exercised its contractual right to purchase the other partner's interest. The parties expect to execute a definitive agreement by March 31st.


The Jackson Estate said that this 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 the songs written by Michael Jackson. In addition, the 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."