Shocker! SONY Corporation released a statement announcing they have reached an agreement with Michael Jackson’s estate to buy them out of their 50 percent share of Sony/ATV Music Publishing for $750 million. This deal will give Sony full control of the world’s biggest music publishing company, which they obtained jointly with Michael Jackson in 1995.
The Sony/ATV Music Publishing company was initially founded in 1955 by Lew Grade, who named the company Associated Television (ATV). Thirty years later Michael Jackson bought the company for $47.5 million and merged with Sony Music Publishing in December 1995. In 2012 the publishing company acquired EMI Music Publishing for $2.2 billion and the two businesses now operate togther. Sony/ATV Music Publishing now manages the rights to over 2 million songs and handles the copyrights of iconic artists like The Beatles, Marvin Gaye, Kanye West and Taylor Swift.
Co-executors of the MJ Estate, John Branca and John McClain, comment that Michael’s purchase of ATV Music Publishing was “considered one of the smartest investments in music history.” They also mentioned this new agreement with Sony “further allows us to continue our efforts of maximizing the value of Michael’s Estate for the benefit of his children and further validates Michael’s foresight and genius in investing in music publishing.”
The President and CEO of the Sony Corporation, Kazuo Hirai, commented: “The entertainment businesses have long been a core part of Sony and are a key driver of our future growth. This agreement further demonstrates Sony’s commitment to the entertainment businesses and our firm belief that these businesses will continue to contribute to our success for years to come.”
The deal is expected to finalize by March 31 2016 and the parties should close their share of the business by early 2017 latest.