Make us your home page
Instagram

Sony agrees to pay $750 million for Beatles copyrights Michael Jackson bought

Sony Corp. has agreed to pay $750 million for the Michael Jackson estate's half of its joint venture Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

The deal announced late Monday will give the Japanese electronics and entertainment giant full ownership of the music publishing company that represents artists such as the Beatles, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan.

Sony/ATV has existed as a joint venture since 1995.

The transaction, subject to regulatory approval, is the result of the process that began last fall when Sony triggered a clause in its contract with the Jackson heirs to allow either Sony or the estate to buy out the other partner's 50 percent stake.

That move led to wide speculation in the entertainment industry about the future of the world's largest music publisher, which manages 3 million copyrights. There have long been rumblings of a potential sale, and the possibility was even broached in emails exposed in the 2014 cyberattack on Sony Pictures.

The estate of Michael Jackson, run by John Branca and John McClain, had initially hoped to reach a deal to buy out Sony's stake and had spoken with potential partners, according to people familiar with the negotiations who asked not to be named by the Los Angeles Times. But the purchase price from Sony ultimately proved attractive to the estate.

The parties have entered a memorandum of understanding, with a definitive agreement anticipated by the end of this month. The deal is expected to close in late 2016 or early 2017.

Jackson's heirs are still in the music business, retaining a 10 percent stake in the EMI Music Publishing catalog. It also owns the rights to Jackson-written songs including Billie Jean, Beat It and Black or White, in addition to the singer's master recordings.

Sony's new agreement with the Jackson estate comes at a time when music publishers and record labels are trying to figure out how to best deal with consumers' shift from owning music to streaming it through services such as Spotify and Apple Music.

"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," Michael Lynton, chief executive of Sony Entertainment, said in a statement.

In 1985, Jackson paid $47.5 million for ATV Music, the publishing company that owned the Beatles catalog. In 1995, Jackson merged the business with Sony's music publishing arm to form Sony/ATV. Jackson died in 2009 at age 50.

Sony also owns Sony Music, the record label that represents Adele.

Sony agrees to pay $750 million for Beatles copyrights Michael Jackson bought 03/15/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 9:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Housing starts fall in July

    Real Estate

    WASHINGTON — The Commerce Department said Wednesday that housing starts fell 4.8 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million. Groundbreakings for multi-family buildings such as apartments slumped 17.1 percent, while single-family house construction slipped 0.5 percent.

    On Wednesday, the Commerce Department reported on U.S. home construction in July. 
[AP file photo]
  2. Pasco doubles tourist tax to finance sports complex

    Tourism

    DADE CITY — Pasco County is doubling its tourist tax to 4 percent to build an indoor sports complex in Wesley Chapel and improve its outdoor boat ramps in west Pasco.

    Pasco County's plan to double its tourist tax on overnight accommodations to 4 percent is intended to help finance a $25 million sports complex in the Wiregrass Ranch area of Wesley Chapel. It  would include a 98,000-quare-foot multipurpose gymnaisium of eight basketball courts and dedicated space for gymnastics, cheerleading and a fitness center. Shown here is the four-court fieldhouse with 50,000-square-feet of space for competitions at  Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.  Times photo by James Borchuck (2007)
  3. USAA expansion at Crosstown Center may bring Hillsborough 1,000 more jobs

    Corporate

    BRANDON — USAA will bring as many as 1,000 more jobs to Hillsborough County in early 2019 with the expansion of its existing operations in Brandon.

    Stuart Parker, president and chief executive officer of USAA, speaks at the company's new Crosstown Center location in Brandon during a visit following its 2015 opening. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times, 2016]
  4. FHP bids for pay raise a week after disastrous publicity

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — This is real bad timing.

    FHP license plate.
  5. Rhetoric over: Three-nation effort to revise NAFTA begin

    National

    WASHINGTON — Of all the trade deals he lambasted on the campaign trail as threats to American workers, President Donald Trump reserved particular scorn for one: The North American Free Trade Agreement.

    Claudio Montes checks a shipping manifest for U.S. manufactured parts heading to assembly plants in Mexico at Freight Dispatch Service Agency LTD in Pharr, Texas, in June. The freight service ships parts between the U.S. and Mexico that pass through the border freely due to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Of all the trade deals he lambasted on the campaign trail as threats to American workers, President Donald Trump reserved particular scorn for one: NAFTA. [Nathan Lambrecht | The Monitor via AP]