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Sony to Buy Michael Jackson’s Stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing for $750 Million

Michael Jackson gets school in his honor

Credit: Cliff Schiappa/AP

Sony made a $750 million deal to acquire Michael Jackson’s large stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

According to multiple reports, the terms of the deal call for Sony Corp. to pay $733 million to the Jackson estate. The King of Pop’s 50 percent stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing, as well as previously announced distributions, is estimated — in payments — to be $750 million.

The King of Pop and the media giant created the music publishing company Sony/ATV in 1995. Years prior, in the 1980s, Jackson bought the Beatles catalog as the first step in building his illustrious music library. According to Bloomberg, “Jackson purchased the ATV catalog, which was the foundation for the eventual joint venture with Sony, for $41.5 million in 1985.”

In 2014, the Sony hack — where leaked emails about the inner workings of the corporation were released to the public — revealed that Sony had a secret plan with the intention to sell the Beatles music publishing rights.

Bloomberg reported in the midst of the hack that Sony Corp. was considering the sale of its music-publishing business, including a partnership with Michael Jackson’s estate that owns the Beatles catalog.

Today, Sony wants Jackson’s stake because they see the potential financial benefits of music streaming.

“The entertainment businesses have long been a core part of Sony and are a key driver of our future growth,” said Sony Corp. chief Kaz Hirai 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 deal will give Sony access to an estimated four million songs and a fighting chance in the emerging market of diverse digital streaming options. The $750 million seems like a lot, but the company expects to make as much as $5.2 billion in fiscal 2017.

The media conglomerate has had financial issues with other aspects of their company. Most notably the corporation has come under fire from fans for its handling of Marvel’s Spider-Man in the 2014 film The Amazing Spider-Man 2. And the poor reception of the first trailer of their Ghostbusters reboot comes with new problems and financial woes in the foreseeable future.

This deal is expected to rectify these recent failures.

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