Sony has agreed to purchase the remaining 50 percent of Sony/ATV from Michael Jackson’s estate for a total of $750 million. The music publishing company was created in 1995 as a joint venture between ATV, which was owned by the late King of Pop, and Sony. It now owns or administers over 2.8 million copyrights, including music by Taylor Swift, Adele, and Justin Bieber.
Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton said in a press release that “this acquisition will enable Sony to more quickly adapt to changes in the music publishing business.”
The deal, which is expected to close by the end of this month, will not impact its other music assets held by Michael Jackson’s estate, including its 10 percent stake in EMI Publishing, which is owned by an investor consortium lead by Sony. It also does not include Jackson’s master recordings or Mijac music, the publishing company that owns all Michael Jackson songs and is managed by Sony/ATV.
Sony exercised a right in its original contract with ATV that allows one partner to purchase the other’s interest and that the transaction will have no material impact on its fiscal year results. According to Rolling Stone, the Sony and Michael Jackson’s estate begun negotiating the deal last year, though it was unclear at first if Sony would purchase the remaining shares or sell its stake back to the estate.
ATV was founded in 1955 and purchased in 1985 by Michael Jackson, who paid $41.5 million for the company.
In a statement, his estate said, “This transaction further allows us to continue our efforts of maximizing the value of Michael’s Estate for the benefit of his children. It also further validates Michael’s foresight and genius in investing in music publishing.”