Sony to buy Michael Jackson’s stake in music publishing unit

Image:File photo of Michael Jackson as he waves to the crowd, numbering a few thousand, gathered in front of the Sydney Opera House November 17, 1996. REUTERS/Megan Lewis/Files

(Reuters) – Sony Corp said it’signed an agreement with Michael Jackson’s estate to buy for $750 million the deceased pop star’s stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the world’s largest music publisher which controls songs such as The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.”

As part of the agreement, Sony will make a lump sum payment of about $733 million as well as distributions to the singer’s estate, the company’said in a statement on Monday.
The deal establishes Sony’s control over the joint venture that Michael Jackson and Sony formed in 1995. Jackson had bought ATV a decade earlier from Australian businessman Robert Holmes a Court, outbidding Beatles singer Paul McCartney.

In September 2015, Sony exercised a right in its contract with the Jackson estate that allowed one partner to buy out the other.

“This acquisition will enable Sony to more quickly adapt to changes in the music publishing business,” Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment said in a statement.
Sony/ATV controls many popular songs such as “All You Need Is Love,” “Moon River” and “The Mission Impossible Theme,” as well as representing the copyrights of musicians such as Bob Dylan, Queen and The Rolling Stones.

Sony said in a statement that the company and the singer’s estate expect to execute a definitive agreement by March 31.

In October, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sony was moving ahead with a plan to sell its half of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and estimated the publisher’s value at around $2 billion.

Boutique investment bank Allen & Co advised Sony on the deal.

(Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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