Michael Jackson’s estate is working out a deal to sell half of its interests in the late artist’s music catalog for a reported $800-$900 million, per Variety. According to the publication, details on the potential sale still remain unclear. However, sources say that Sony might be a possible financial partner in the deal. The estate is reportedly negotiating 50% of its interests in Jackson’s publishing, recorded-music revenues, the MJ: The Musical Broadway show and the upcoming biopic Michael, and possibly more assets. If this deal goes through then it would be the largest deal to date in the music catalog market.
Primary Wave Music already owns a stake in Jackson’s publishing catalog, although details are unclear, the publication reports.
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If Sony comes up as the financial partner in Jackson’s deal then it wouldn’t be the first time the company has bought up an influential artist’s music catalog. It acquired Bruce Springsteen’s publishing and recorded-music catalogs for around $500 million in the biggest sale to date.
In hip-hop, Influence Media Partners bought Future’s music catalog from 2004 to 2020 in an undisclosed amount back in September 2022. Chuck D’s (from Public Enemy) music catalog was bought back in September 2022 from Reach Music Publishing for an undisclosed amount. In his deal, Reach Music Publishing acquired as 50% copyright interest; 100% writer’s share.
Jackson’s recorded-music catalog is one of the most successful in history. His 1982 Thriller album is iconic and one of the two biggest sellers of all time. It was the first album to be certified 30-times platinum.