Sony Music Group has finalized an acquisition of half of Michael Jackson’s publishing and recorded masters, in what appears to be the conclusion of a deal that was leaked a year ago. Sources confirm to Variety that the entire catalog is valued at approximately $1.2 billion, and possibly more. According to Billboard, Sony intends to spend a minimum of $600 million for the ownership.
If this is true, it’s the largest asset purchase for a single musician to that point. Multiple titles by Sly & the Family Stone, as well as songs written or performed by Jerry Lee Lewis, Jackie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles, Percy Sledge, Dion, and more, are among the assets from Jackson’s renowned Mijac publishing portfolio that are confirmed to be included in the complicated arrangement by sources.
Royalties from the Broadway musical “MJ” and other plays that use the musician’s music are not included in it, though. According to sources, Primary Wave Music still owns 10% of Jackson’s publishing assets. In a similar vein, Sony remained silent regarding the widely publicized agreement it made several years ago to pay roughly $600 million to buy Bruce Springsteen’s publishing and recorded music repertoire.
The estate was reportedly requesting between $800 and $900 million when the negotiations were initially revealed in February of last year. However, given that Jackson’s catalog’s worth has only increased recently, it’s plausible that a different set of assets was included in the final agreement.