The estate of the late Michael Jackson has made plans to sell a portion of the icon’s catalog for close to $1 billion.
According to Variety, three sources have confirmed that the estate is in the process of selling half of its interest in the legend’s catalog for between $800M-$900M. Details remain unclear, but Sony Music and a possible financial partner are named as the likely buyers of Jackson’s publishing, which will include “recorded-music revenues, the ‘MJ: The Musical’ Broadway show and the upcoming biopic ‘Michael,’ and possibly more assets.”
Primary Wave Music already owns a stake in Jackson’s publishing catalog, a financial source tells Variety, though the details of said ownership remain unclear.
Sony Music and its predecessor CBS housed Jackson’s music catalog during his later years with The Jackson Five and throughout his entire solo career. The label entered into a joint venture with the “Remember The Time” artist in 1995 with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, of which Jackson owned a 50% stake.
In 2016, seven years after Jackson’s death, Sony paid the Jackson Estate $750M for his stake in the collaboration, and now appear to be circling back for more ownership.
Sony Music has become known for acquiring significant music catalogs, acquiring Bruce Springsteen’s in 2021 for around $600M.
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The sale of Jackson’s catalog would be one of the biggest — and most lucrative — in music history.
The news follows reports of several other music stars selling their own catalogs for big bucks. In November 2022, Iggy Azalea sold her entire masters and publishing catalog in an eight-figure deal to Domain Capital while Justin Bieber sold his catalog for $200M in January.
Future and producer Zaytoven have also parted ways with their publishing, with the “Mask Off” rapper selling his for between $65M-$75M while the beatsmith sold his stake in songs like Migos’ “Versace” and Travis Scott’s “3500″ for an undisclosed amount to Ultra International Music Publishing.