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Offline moonstreet

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #45 on: February 11, 2012, 10:14:13 AM »
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/at-lawyers-luncheon-a-chilly-reception-for-spotifys-chief/

February 10, 2012, 9:58 PM
At Lawyers’ Luncheon, a Chilly Reception for Spotify’s Chief
By BY BEN SISARIO


For the music industry’s movers and shakers, the parties and symposiums leading up to the Grammy Awards on Sunday night are opportunities for schmoozing, back-patting and a bit of business. But for a struggling, shrinking industry there can also be some tension, particularly when it comes to the role of technology.

Daniel Ek, the moon-faced co-founder of Spotify, is for the most part the toast of Grammytown this year, turning up at private cocktail parties and meetings with business dons. On Thursday, his company got a bit of priceless publicity when President Obama’s campaign staff released a Spotify playlist. And on Friday Mr. Ek was the keynote speaker at the Entertainment Law Initiative lunch, the annual gathering of the industry’s most powerful lawyers, presented by the Grammy Foundation at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

But a roomful of lawyers, many of whom represent artists worried about Spotify’s royalty structure — paying fractions of pennies every time a song is streamed, much less than what iTunes pays for one download — was not the most sympathetic audience. Josh Tyrangiel, the editor of Bloomberg Businessweek, who was interviewing Mr. Ek, alluded to this when he began his questioning: “I look forward to next year’s lunch, where the Crips meet the Bloods.”

Mr. Ek defended Spotify as a reliable generator of royalties and — his longtime pitch to the industry — a way to lure customers from the black market of illegal downloads. Spotify, like other subscription services, streams millions of songs to paying users, and also has a free version supported by advertising.

“I want to be a friendly alternative,” he said.

When introduced in the United States last July, Spotify had 1.6 million paying subscribers; by last month it was up to 3 million, and it continues to expand around the world. Mr. Ek said at the lunch that about 70 percent of Spotify’s revenue goes “back to the industry,” and that his company has paid $250 million in royalties since it opened in 2008. (At a press conference two months ago that figure was $150 million.)

Mr. Ek also made a bold prediction, saying that in two years subscription services will pay as much royalties as iTunes does. In 2010, downloads generated $2.2 billion in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, and the vast majority of that money comes from iTunes.

“What we’re proving now is that this model works,” he said.

The luncheon was held in honor of John Branca, the veteran music lawyer who is an executor of the estate of Michael Jackson. After joking that the shrinking of the music industry has made its lawyers the dinosaurs of the legal profession — “this ceremony has more to do with paleontology than jurisprudence,” he said — Mr. Branca reminisced about representing Jackson, the Beach Boys, Mick Jagger, Aerosmith and others, and he mounted a defense of the role of lawyers in the ever more corporatized world of the music industry.

“While we are experiencing blatant consolidation in the channels of distribution in the music business, where an artist’s manager, promoter, ticketing agency and merchandiser can be all under one corporate umbrella,” Mr. Branca said, alluding to Live Nation Entertainment, which owns Ticketmaster and manages hundreds of artists, “we lawyers remain an independent voice in the life of the artist to protect and where necessary defend that artist.”

He got a standing ovation.



Offline moonstreet

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #46 on: February 11, 2012, 10:19:17 AM »
http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/legal-and-management/daniel-ek-talks-spotify-s-growth-at-entertainment-1006162352.story

Daniel Ek Talks Spotify's Growth at Entertainment Law Luncheon; John Branca Shares Priceless Michael Jackson Story
February 10, 2012
By Phil Gallo, Los Angeles


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--Backstage, before Spotify CEO Daniel Ek did a keynote interview for the entertainment legal community at the Beverly Hills Hotel today, he predicted that income from his streaming service would equal that of Apples iTunes in two years.

Despite his many statements about his company's potential, the boyish-looking Swede has a certain nonchalance in his speaking voice that makes one wonder if he realizes how crucial Spotify could be to the music industry. It certainly was not lost on attorney John Branca, who reacted with the passion of man who has a full grasp on what's at stake -­ the ability to monetize subscription services.

"I hope he's so successful at signing up customers that he gets there in one year," he said, his smile growing larger as he counted down more ways that Spotify could be successful.

Ek was interviewed at the Grammy Foundation's 14th annual Entertainment Law Initiative Luncheon and Scholarship Presentation at the Beverly Hilton, where he explained his company's history and anticipation about its growth.

Among his predictions and observations:

People continue to listen to music ­ via Spotify ­ nine months after release.

Their goal is to create "the most artist-friendly tool there is" and "build tools for the industry." Soon it may be possible to track how a song grew in popularity and trace it back to the handful of people who were first on board with it.

Spotify pays 60 percent to 70 percent of its income to the music industry.

Users of social media are three times as likely to pay for a music service than non-users, which led them to partner with Facebook.

After Ek's interview, Howard Weitzman presented Branca, a partner in the law firm of Ziffren Brittenham LLP and former board chair of the MusiCares, with the 2012 Service Award.

Branca, speaking to a room that included his firm's lawyers, past honorees Joel Katz and Jay Cooper, and Kobalt's Willard Ahdritz, focused on being driven by passion for music. A fan of Elvis Presley, the Doors, the Rolling Stones, Berry Gordy and the Beach Boys, he related two stories that greatly affected his career.

The first came when he was a second-year lawyer and had to help the Beach Boys decide whether to retain Steve Love as their manager. Mike Love and Al Jardine were pro; Carl and Dennis Wilson were against. Brian Wilson was asked to cast the deciding vote, but was "deep in slumber with his head down on a conference table," Branca said.

He improvised, asking Brian to knock once to keep Love, two to fire him. "Lo and behold, Brian knocked three times." It became Branca's job to get Love to resign.

And when Branca first became Michael Jackson¹s lawyer, the singer called with a request that was of utmost urgency. "I got ready ­ had my pen out and notebook out," Branca related. Jackson's request? He needed his pinball machine fixed.

Branca thanked family members and related musical and sports experiences of his youth before bringing it back to the music industry of today. In a world in which more companies attempt to bring every element of a career under a single umbrella, Branca reasoned, "lawyers remains an independent voice in the life of an artist."


Offline moonstreet

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2012, 10:22:27 AM »
http://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerfriedman/2012/02/10/michael-jackson-asked-lawyer-to-fix-pinball-machine/

2/10/2012 @ 7:33PM |539 views
Michael Jackson Asked Lawyer to Fix Pinball Machine


Two Michael Jackson lawyers are in the news today. Most importantly, John Branca–the man who helped Michael buy the Beatles catalog and worked with him on and off for 30 years–was honored by the Entertainment Law Initiative today at their annual Beverly Hills Hotel luncheon. Branca took the few protesters outside the hotel in stride–they’re all the Jackson conspiracy characters. One of them wore a Guy Fawkes mask.

Branca told the audience–including Jackson estate lawyer Howard Weitzman and Jackson personal lawyer Joel Katz–some of the funnier anecdotes of working with the late great pop star.  Early on, Jackson called him and said, “John, we have  to talk about something very serious.” Branca grabbed a pen and pad to take notes. Jackson told him, “My pinball machine isn’t working.”  Branca got the game fixed, and the two went on to not only buy the Beatles catalog but to get back the rights to Michael’s master recordings.

Meanwhile, in another part of the universe, it does seem that Brian Oxman –who’s had a long history of disciplinary action with the California Bar Association– has been barred from practicing law anymore. According to a filing with the California State Bar Association, Oxman’s status changed on February 2, 2012. It now reads “not eligible to practice law” and “ordered inactive.” That nat be the end of Brian Oxman as a TV spokesman for the Jackson family and for Michael Jackson.

Branca, by the way, also talked about his long history with the Beach Boys and his role now in helping them reunite. And he wasn’t always on a legal path. His parents sent him to classes for “music, dance, and singing”– all of which he disliked intensely. As Jackson’s main co-executor, he’s done an amazing job of making money for Michael’s kids and estate.

Also on the bill at lunch: Bloomberg BusinessWeek editor Josh Tyrangiel and Spotify founder Daniel Ek. Ek told me it was no big deal that Paul McCartney‘s new album wasn’t offered on Spotify. “We’d never made a deal for it in the first place,” he told me.



Offline moonstreet

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2012, 04:18:40 PM »
http://www.markenasty personch.com/story/martin-bandier-signs-long-term-contract-to-remain-chairman-and-ceo-sonyatv-music-publishing-2012-03-19

PRESS RELEASE
March 19, 2012, 10:00 a.m. EDT
Martin Bandier Signs Long-Term Contract to Remain Chairman and CEO, SONY/ATV Music Publishing
Renowned Music Executive To Continue Leading Award-Winning Business


NEW YORK, Mar 19, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Sony Corporation of America announced today that Martin N. Bandier has signed a long-term contract extension to remain as Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC. Sony/ATV Music Publishing is a joint venture between Sony Corporation and the Estate of Michael Jackson.

Since arriving at Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2007, Mr. Bandier has grown the company in impressive ways. Throughout the past five years, Mr. Bandier has re-energized the music publisher by putting an emphasis on attracting the industry’s best emerging talent including signing writer-artists like Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull and Shakira as well as songwriter-producers like Jeff Bhasker, Boi-1Da, Evan Bogart, JR Rotem and RedOne. As a result of his efforts, Sony/ATV Music Publishing has gone on to win many of the industry’s top honors including the ASCAP Pop Publisher of the Year (for the first time in the company’s history in 2009) and the BMI Pop Publisher of the Year (for the first time in over 15 years in 2011). Sony/ATV Music Publishing has also been awarded both the BMI Country Publisher of the Year as well as the ASCAP Latin Publisher of the Year every year of Mr. Bandier’s tenure at the company.

Since joining the company, Sony/ATV Music Publishing has twice been awarded the prestigious Sony Corporation Award for Excellence, which recognizes an operating company’s stellar performance in a given fiscal year. Prior to Mr. Bandier’s arrival, Sony/ATV had never been presented with the award.

In November 2011, an investor group that includes Sony Corporation of America in conjunction with the Estate of Michael Jackson, Mubadala Development Company PJSC, Jynwel Capital Limited, the Blackstone Group's GSO Capital Partners LP and David Geffen signed an agreement to acquire EMI Music Publishing. Subject to approval, Sony/ATV Music Publishing will help oversee EMI Music Publishing and will reunite Mr. Bandier with a company he spent over 17 years building.

“Working at Sony/ATV Music Publishing, especially with its talented artists, songwriters and staff, has been one of the best highlights of my career,” said Mr. Bandier. “Over the past five years, we have shared some incredible moments and I am humbled by the confidence and support that Sony and the Estate of Michael Jackson continue to place in me for the development and growth of their joint venture. With the addition of EMI Music Publishing, a company I spent over 17 years building, the future looks very promising for many more shared successes.”

“At a vital time for Sony/ATV, I am delighted that Marty has agreed to continue his expert leadership of this important company,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO & President, Sony Corporation. “Music publishing is an incredibly successful part of our business and with Marty staying on at the helm, Sony/ATV is well positioned for the years ahead.”

“Marty Bandier is, and for years has been, the leading publisher in the world,” said John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson. “We are thrilled he will be at Sony/ATV for years to come. Marty’s experience, wealth of knowledge and creativity set the standard by which others are measured.”

Mr. Bandier’s move to Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2007 matched the most renowned music-publishing executive in the industry with the company that not only controls some of its most valuable catalogue assets, but also boasts a stellar roster of the most active and popular current artists and writers. The catalogues include a generation-spanning mix of some of the biggest names in music, from the Beatles, Brooks & Dunn, Leonard Cohen, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Richie Sambora, and Hank Williams to Akon, Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias, Jessie J and Taylor Swift.

Mr. Bandier was named chairman and CEO of EMI Music Publishing in 1989 after a merger between SBK, a company he founded, and Thorn EMI. Under his leadership, the combined company became one of the world’s most successful music publishing companies.

SOURCE: Sony Corporation of America

Offline moonstreet

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2012, 11:01:09 AM »
http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/sony-extends-contract-of-music-executive/

March 19, 2012, 6:15 PM
Sony Extends Contract of Music Executive
By BEN SISARIO


Sony has extended the contract of the man who will oversee its music publishing business, a division that is poised to greatly expand if Sony’s bid for EMI is approved.

Martin Bandier, the veteran music executive who since 2007 has been chairman and chief executive of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Sony’s joint venture with the Michael Jackson estate, has signed a new long-term contract to lead that venture, Sony announced on Monday. Terms of the deal, including the length of the contract, were not disclosed. But one person with direct knowledge of the deal who did not want to be identified said the contract was for up to four years.

Music publishing is the side of the industry that deals with the copyrights for the music and lyrics of songs, as opposed to recordings. As record sales have plunged over the years, publishing has come to be seen as a steadier and less vulnerable business.

In November, Sony led an investment group that bid $2.2 billion for the assets of EMI Music Publishing. That deal, along with the Universal Music Group’s $1.9 billion bid for EMI’s recorded music division, is under review by regulators in the United States and Europe, and faces opposition from independent music companies. But if Sony’s deal goes through, it would effectively become the largest music publisher in the world, with control over more than 2 million compositions. EMI — which Mr. Bandier ran for years before coming to Sony — is to remain a separate division, but it will be overseen by Sony/ATV.

Sony and the Jackson estate will have a combined 38 percent stake in EMI’s publishing. The other investors in the deal are Mubadala, Jynwel Capital, the Blackstone Group’s GSO Capital Partners unit, and David Geffen.

In another prominent personnel deal, Joie Manda, a top hip-hop executive at the Warner Music Group, has been named president of Def Jam Recordings, a Universal label. Mr. Manda, who had been head of urban music at Warner Brothers Records, is Def Jam’s first president since Jay-Z left the job in 2007; since then many moguls have lobbied publicly for the job, perhaps the most symbolically important in hip-hop. Def Jam helped define hop-hop in the 1980s with acts like LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy.

Mr. Manda got his start in the late 1990s with the D.J. Funkmaster Flex. He joined Warner in 2004, where he helped expand the company’s hip-hop roster on the Asylum imprint and, more recently, through a deal with Maybach Music, the label run by the rap star Rick Ross.

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #50 on: April 08, 2012, 11:38:45 AM »
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/29/us-sony-lynton-idUSBRE82S1DA20120329

Sony promotes film chief to larger role
Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:40pm EDT


(Reuters) - Sony Corp promoted film studio co-chairman Michael Lynton to a larger role overseeing entertainment operations, part of a reorganization as a new CEO prepares to take over the Japan-based electronics company.

Lynton, 52, was named CEO of Sony Corporation of America, the company said in a statement on Thursday. His responsibilities include Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a joint venture with Michael Jackson's estate. He will remain based at the film studio's headquarters in Culver City, California.

Nicole Seligman, an executive vice president and general counsel, will take on the added role of president of U.S. operations.

The moves, which take effect June 27, came as incoming Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai is about to take the reins of the company current CEO Howard Stringer on Sunday.

Sony has been outgunned by rivals in its core electronics business. The Playstation maker expects to report a 220 billion yen net loss for the financial year ending March 31, its fourth straight year in the red. The company's only profitable businesses for the current fiscal year have been movies, music and financial services.

Lynton became chairman and CEO of Sony's film studio in 2004. He will continue to run the unit with the division's co-chairman, Amy Pascal. The movie division had a box-office hit with its recent comedy "21 Jump Street" and will release a new "Spider-man" movie and a "Men in Black" sequel this summer.

Before taking the helm at Sony Pictures, Lynton was head of publishing group Penguin and president of AOL Time Warner's international operations. He previously served as president of Disney Publishing.

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #51 on: July 06, 2012, 08:27:45 PM »
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/emi-music-publishing-sold-sony-atv-estate-michael-jackson-343848

Sold! EMI Music Publishing to Consortium Led by Sony/ATV, Michael Jackson Estate for $2.2 Billion
2:30 AM PDT 6/30/2012 by Shirley Halperin


On Friday, the Federal Trade Commission announced it had completed its investigation into antitrust allegations, giving the deal its green light.

The music industry’s latest round of dominoes fell into place perfectly Friday. That’s when a consortium led by Sony/ATV closed on its $2.2 billion purchase of EMI Music Publishing, mere hours after the Federal Trade Commission announced it had completed its investigation into antitrust allegations and gave the deal its green light.

The sale follows a complex and at times contentious parting between EMI and private-equity firm Terra Firma, both headquartered in London, which purchased the storied record company and its publishing arm for $6.4 billion in 2007. After defaulting on its debt, Citigroup took over in early 2011 and weeks later announced that EMI would be split and sold off separately (pending regulatory approval, Universal Music Group is set to purchase the recorded unit for $1.9 billion). Other investing partners joining Sony/ATV are the estate of Michael Jackson, Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development Company PJSC, Jynwel Capital Ltd., the Blackstone Group's GSO Capital Partners LP and music business veteran David Geffen.

With the deal, Sony/ATV’s arsenal grows to more than 2 million songs, when you factor in EMI’s 1.3 million tunes. That includes 251 compositions by The Beatles -- controlled with the Jackson estate -- along with such classics as The Police’s “Roxanne,” The Beach Boys’ “Surfer Girl” and current hits by Justin Bieber, Usher and One Direction.

STORY: European Union Approves Sony/ATV's EMI Music Publishing Deal

As reported by The New York Times, terms dictated by the Jackson estate require that EMI Music Publishing remains a separate company. Still, the acquisition will return veteran executive Martin Bandier to helm EMI Publishing, a company he ran for 17 years before jumping ship to Sony/ATV, where he is currently chairman. In an interview with the paper’s Media Decoder blog, however, Bandier says that outside of ownership interests, the two publishing powerhouses essentially will be merged. “We are not going to run these as separate entities," he said. "At the end of the day, we are going to be one homogeneous company, with one person -- myself -- running it."

Curiously, but not coincidentally, EMI Music Publishing’s current president “Big” Jon Platt, who also spent 17 years at the company, reported to work for the last time Friday. That night, he accepted the award for Publisher of the Year at the ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Awards -- the company's 18th win in as many years -- and later was hailed by Pharrell Williams, who said, “He really is Phil Jackson to us writers.”
According to sources, Platt wasn’t all that jazzed about returning to work under Bandier, but it was only one reason for his exit, a decision he has considered for some time. It’s not yet known what Platt’s next move will be, but there’s talk of a label deal at Warner Music Group, where current EMI CEO Roger Faxon is also rumored to be headed.

In fact, Warners, along with several independent groups, was among the most vocal opponents of the EMI sale. Some contend that's because it lost the recorded music bid to Universal, while former WMG chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. himself told Congress that a combined EMI-UMG "would possess far too much power" and bring "grave consequences for consumers and the future of digital innovation."

The publishing deal, on the other hand, poses less monopoly risk, it was concluded, despite a 30-plus percent market share because the licensing of copyrights is, in essence, an equal opportunity business. However, according to Billboard’s Ed Christman, sources suggest that Sony Music Entertainment might join Bronfman in the fight to stop the sale of EMI’s recorded music operation.

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #52 on: July 06, 2012, 08:29:56 PM »
http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/publishing/updated-sony-led-group-closes-purchase-of-1007463562.story

Updated: Sony-Led Group Closes Purchase of EMI Music Publishing
June 29 2012 by Ed Christman


The Sony Corp. of America led investor consortium completed its acquisition of EMI Music Publishing today, just hours after the Federal Trade Commission issued a statement saying it closed its antitrust investigation of the $2.2 billion deal -- which meant it received regulatory approval.

The investor group -- comprised of Sony Corporation of America, the Estate of Michael Jackson, Mubadala Development Company PJSC, Jynwel Capital Limited, the Blackstone Group's GSO Capital Partners LP and David Geffen - won a bidding war with BMG back in November. With the closing of the deal, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a joint venture between Sony and the estate of Michael Jackson, will serve as administrator for EMI, which means that it will oversee more than 2 million songs, 1.3 million from EMI and its own 750,000 copyrights.

"Music publishing, along with the rest of our entertainment companies, has been a bright spot in our business portfolio, and we expect that trend to continue with this important acquisition," Sony Corp. president and CEO Kazuo Hirai said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Sony/ATV chairman and CEO (and former head of EMI Publishing) Martin Bandier added in a statement: "Today is a truly special day. … As I become reunited with the company that has many of the greatest songwriters and songs of all time, I look forward to helping create the best music publishing company in the world, with the extraordinary talent -- artists, songwriters and staff -- at the combined Sony/ATV and EMI."

The closing meand that Citigroup received a $2.2 billion payment in the sale, but it now must wait and see how the regulatory agencies will treat Universal Music Group's  proposed $1.9 billion acquisition of EMI's recorded music operation.

The FTC announced its approval today one day before the June 30th deadline to complete its review of the deal had expired. This week it began to look like the FTC would approve the deal by not issuing a comment on the deal before the deadline, which means that the deal would gain approval by default, a tactic that the agency sometimes employs instead of outright approving the deal. Since June 30 falls on a Saturday, the buyers requested that the FTC move up the deadline one day so that they could complete the deal when the banks are open, according to sources. But at the last second, the FTC surprised the buyers by making a statement approving the deal.
It's Official: Sony-Led Acquisition of EMI Music Publishing Approved by EU
This event will now trigger the sales of the Virgin music-publishing catalog, Famous Music U.K. catalog and assorted other songwriters, both classic and younger ones. It will also allow Sony/ATV, which will serve as administrator to EMI Music Publishing, to get into the company for the first time and get hands on information on what they will be managing so that decisions can be made regarding employee competency and redundancies, among other integration tasks ahead of it.

Yet, in releasing a report yesterday in how it made its April 19 decision, the EU said that one of the factors behind its approval of the deal was the ownership structure, which consists of two consortiums owning EMI; and with EMI's ownership also kept separate from Sony/ATV.
EMI Publishing Goes to Sony, Label to Universal
According to the document, EMI will be owned by two consortium companies: Nile Acquisition LLC, referred to as the Sony Sub, which consists of Sony and the Michael Jackson estate; and Nile Acquisition Holding Co. Ltd., which would be owned by Mubadala, Jynwel, GSO and other investors under the name EMI West. The documents reveal that the Sony consortium will appoint four board members, and Mubadala would also appoint four members of the 12-member board overseeing EMI. The percent-ownership of each were edited out of the report, although sources say Sony and the Jackson estate would own 38%.

The EU gave its approval after the buyers' offer to sell off a catalog that generated 10-20 million euros annually and then revised that offer by complementing the assets it initially suggested by adding more songwriters and making the Virgin deal global in basis, instead of just selling the Virgin rights for Europe, which increased the divested annual revenues to the 20-30 million Euros range.
Sony Plans To Cut 326 EMI Music Publishing Jobs Over Two Years
Meanwhile, Impala, the European trade group for independent record labels which has been challenging the sale of EMI, has issued a statement that indicates that it might not be done fighting the approval of the EMI Music Publishing component of the deal, even as it actively fights Universal Music Group's deal for EMI's recorded music operation, which is under intense regulatory scrutiny.

In its statement, Impala notes that while the EU market-tested the first proposed divestitur, "this decision was reached without market-testing the revised remedies." Impala also noted, "neither did the EC open a more detailed investigation as it decided to do for the proposed Universal/EMI recording merger."
Impala Reiterates Its Opposition to EMI Publishing/Sony Merger
Impala forced the EU to take a second look at the 2004 merger between Sony and BMG on a technicality, by taking them to court and claiming the initial review wasn't comprehensive in scope and the European Commission Court of First Instance agreed with Impala.

Impala may be considering challenging the EMI ruling too, any maybe even on the same technicality. In a statement, it said, "We believe the remedies do not go anywhere close to securing future competition. We now need to study the EC's reasons in detail with our legal team to decide next steps."

Meanwhile, the EU document disclosed that among the catalogs of the Virgin songwriters and other individual songwriters that will be completely divested are: Duffy, Matt Cardle, Bullet For My Valentine, Orchestral Manoeuvres in The Dark's Andy McClusky, Bryan Ferry, Culture Club, Devo, Fine Young Cannibals, Iggy Pop, Lenny Kravitz, the Prodigy's Liam Howlett, Martha and the Muffins, Guru Josh AKA Paul Walden, Richard Ashcroft, Robbie Williams, Soul II Soul, Stereo MCs, Tears For Fears, Terence Trent D'arby, Texas, the Beloved, the Human League, Ben Harper, the Goo Goo Dolls, Ozzy Osbourne, Kurt Cobain, John Barry, Jim Steinman, the Crystal Method, Tool, Warrant, Mark Ronson, and Take That's Gary Barlow, Jason Orange and Howard Donald. It will also divest Famous Music U.K., which includes song catalogs of Ian Dury and Chaz Jankel, Placebo, and the Kooks.

The EU document suggests that it would prefer the catalogs be sold in whole to a new entrant to the music-publishing sector, and it is appointing a trustee to monitor the divestment, which must be completed within six months.

In studying how Sony/ATV and EMI will look after the deal is completed, the EU noted that the two parties combined share of overall music publishing revenues exceeds 40% only in Romania (40-50%). The Parties' combined share of such revenues ranges between 30-40% in seven countries (Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Sweden and the UK). On an EEA-wide level the Parties estimate their combined share of overall music publishing revenues to be in the region of 25%, closely followed by Universal (20-30%).

As for other considerations behind the EU approval decision, Impala implied it could have implications for the much more thorough scrutiny of UMG's deal to buy EMI's recorded music operation, "The decision sets out the Commission's reasons for reaching its conclusions, some of which will have a broader impact," the IMPALA response continues. "For example, it confirms that neither online customers nor piracy are capable of restraining excessive market power."

However, now that Sony and its consortium has received its approval on its own deal to buy EMI Music Publishing, which will be administered by Sony/ATV, sources say they expect Sony Music Entertainment, the recorded music operation, to become a very vocal critic of UMG's planned acquisition of EMI's recorded music operation. It may not have the chance to publicly state like Edgar Bronfman Jr. has in recent weeks, including the Senate hearing on that acquisition, but sources say Sony will now begin to vigorously and vocally oppose the UMG deal behind closed doors. Sony didn't respond for a request for comment.

Offline moonstreet

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #53 on: July 13, 2012, 08:36:40 PM »
http://www.tmz.com/2012/07/13/michael-jackson-estate-debt-almost-cleared-catalog/

7/13/2012 12:14 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
MICHAEL JACKSON
Estate Clears MJ's Massive Debt ... Almost


Michael Jackson's estate has made a fortune since the singer's death -- so much in fact ... it's nearly paid off $500 million in debt the King of Pop left behind when he died.

Executors for the Estate filed legal docs -- obtained by TMZ -- which show the Estate has generated gross earnings exceeding $475 million as of the end of May. 

According to the docs, all of MJ's debts have been paid, with the exception of a BIG debt involving Michael's publishing catalog ... and executors expect that will be fully paid off by the end of the year.

It's not only good news for the Estate ... it's great news for the small army of lawyers who have been handling all the legal and business affairs.  Their fees -- from May, 2010 through November, 2011 -- exceeded $13.6 MILLION!

Two other things ... Katherine is asking for an additional $34,700 a month to pay for lawyers and accountants, and another $205,041 to cover lawyer and accountant fees from 2011.

Final thing --There are still some unresolved creditors' claims and several lawsuits to clear up.

All in all ... not a bad turnaround.

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #54 on: July 14, 2012, 03:37:36 AM »
http://www.tmz.com/2012/07/13/michael-jackson-estate-debt-almost-cleared-catalog/

7/13/2012 12:14 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
MICHAEL JACKSON
Estate Clears MJ's Massive Debt ... Almost



According to the docs, all of MJ's debts have been paid, with the exception of a BIG debt involving Michael's publishing catalog ... and executors expect that will be fully paid off by the end of the year.





Offline moonstreet

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #55 on: August 20, 2012, 02:16:12 PM »
The Official Online Team of the Michael Jackson Estate™
SONY / ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING SIGNS EXCLUSIVE WORLDWIDE
ADMINISTRATION AGREEMENT TO REPRESENT MIJAC MUSIC CATALOG

 

NEW YORK —August 20, 2012—Sony/ATV Music Publishing announced today that the company has entered into a worldwide administration agreement to represent Michael Jackson’s iconic Mijac Music catalog. Founded by Michael Jackson in 1980 as his personal publishing company, Mijac Music grew to include – in addition to all of his own incredible songs – the classic Sly and the Family Stone catalog, songs by the legendary Philadelphia soul team of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff as well as songs made famous by other artists such as Ray Charles, Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin.

Of the announcement, Martin Bandier, Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV said, “We are thrilled that the Estate of Michael Jackson has entrusted us with this incredible catalog of songs, and everyone at Sony/ATV looks forward to finding innovative ways to use these songs, while protecting their legacy.”
 
Commenting on the deal, John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson remarked, “Michael’s songs in the Mijac Music catalog not only showcase his greatness as a performer but also his creative genius as a songwriter. We are excited that the company Michael helped found, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and in which his Estate remains a 50% partner, will represent these amazing songs along with a rich collection of other music recorded by some of our greatest popular artists.”

The agreement comes in advance of the September 18 release of BAD25, a new two-disc-package and DVD that marks the 25th anniversary of Michael’s landmark BAD album.
 
The Mijac catalog includes all of the songs written by the legendary King of Pop, Michael Jackson, including “Another Part Of Me,” “Bad,” “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Black or White,” “Can You Feel It,” “Dangerous,” “Dirty Diana,” “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” “Earth Song,” “Heal the World,” “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Jam,” “Scream,” “Smooth Criminal,” “They Don’t Care About Us,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “We Are The World.”
 
Also included in the catalog are some of the most iconic songs in rock, pop and soul music history,  including  "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now," “After Midnight,”  “Ease on Down the Road,”  “Great Balls of Fire,” "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher," “I Got A Woman,” “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Love Train,” “Mr. Bojangles,” “People Get Ready,” “Runaround Sue,” “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” “Sixteen Candles,” “The Wanderer”, “What’d I Say,” “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “You Don’t Know Me”. Of special note the catalog includes the songs made famous by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist Sly and the Family Stone, including such hits as “Dance To the Music,” “Everybody is a Star,” “Everyday People,” “Family Affair,” “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” “If You Want Me To Stay,” “Sing a Simple Song,” “Stand” and “Thank You.”
 
About Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Sony/ATV Music Publishing, established in 1995 as a joint venture between Sony and Michael Jackson, is the world’s leading music publisher. Together with EMI Music Publishing, Leiber Stoller, Mijac Music, Motown and the Famous Music catalogs, Sony/ATV owns or administers more than 2 million copyrights, including some of the best known songs ever written. Sony/ATV’s catalog includes “New York, New York,” “All You Need Is Love,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Moon River,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “The Mission Impossible Theme,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Over the Rainbow,” “Stand By Me,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Singin’ in the Rain.” In addition, Sony/ATV represents the copyrights of such legendary artists as The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Carole King, Kraftwerk, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Richie Sambora, Sting, Wyclef Jean, Hank Williams and Stevie Wonder, among others.  Its ever-growing list of chart-topping artists, writers and producers includes Beyoncé, Fall Out Boy, Jay-Z, Jessie J, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, John Mayer, P!nk, RedOne, Shakira, Ed Sheeran, Stargate, Taylor Swift and Kanye West.

Offline moonstreet

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #56 on: August 21, 2012, 01:20:20 PM »
http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2012/08/17/the-scandalously-boring-truth-about-michael-jacksons-will/

8/17/2012 @ 3:30PM
The Scandalously Boring Truth About Michael Jackson's Will


More than three years after his untimely death, Michael Jackson continues to make headlines—most recently as a result of a controversy over his will this summer. A few of his siblings labeled the document “false” and “fraudulent”; representatives for his estate countered by saying, “We are saddened that false and defamatory accusations grounded in stale Internet conspiracy theories are now being made by certain members of Michael’s family whom he chose to leave out of his will.”

Unfortunately for news hounds, the scandalous truth about Michael Jackson’s will is that there isn’t really much of a scandal, from a legal perspective. Last week FORBES obtained a copy of the latest will from the Los Angeles Superior Court (as others have before) and separately viewed three previous versions of the will, all of which are remarkably consistent and serve to confirm the boring reality: The will is in no real danger of being overturned, and even if it were, it would be replaced by a virtually identical previous version.

“If a later will is found to be invalid … the last will prior would be given full force and effect,” confirms Andrew Katzenstein, a partner at law firm Proskauer, who teaches the Estate and Gift Tax class at the University of Southern California.


Michael Jackson’s postmortem plans haven’t changed much over the years. His 1995 will names John Branca, Bert Mitchell and Marshall Gelfand as co-executors. Like all subsequent versions of the will, it specifies that the King of Pop’s interests be placed in an entity known as the Michael Jackson Family Trust, which stipulates the following distribution: 20% to charity, and the remainder split between a lifetime trust for Michael’s mother, Katherine Jackson, and a trust for any children Michael might have. Upon Katherine’s death, any remaining funds would revert to the children.

The second will, dated December 10th, 1997, also names Branca and Mitchell as co-executors of Michael Jackson’s estate, but replaces Marshall Gelfand with banker Jane Heller. The distribution under the trust remains the same. Michael’s first child—Prince Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., born on in February—is mentioned by name, but the will still stipulates that half of what’s left after distributions to charities and for Katherine Jackson be split between all children he might have.

The third, signed in March 2002, after the birth of Michael’s second and third children—Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince Michael Joseph Jackson, II (better known by his nickname, “Blanket”)—identifies only the first two children by name, but still indicates that the trust would benefit all his children evenly. Perhaps just to be safe, a fourth will that names all three children was filed the following July.

Jackson’s siblings have said that the singer was in New York on July 7th, the day the fourth will was dated and marked as signed in Los Angeles. Others have confirmed that the King of Pop was in the Big Apple that day. But under California law, this isn’t something that would render the will invalid, as it’s possible the document was simply misdated.

“If you accidentally write the wrong date on a document, does it matter? No,” says Katzenstein. “There’s no dating requirement.”

The will was admitted to probate in 2009, and Katzenstein points out that California Probate Code Section 8270 stipulates a period of 120 days to file a petition with the court to revoke the probate of the will. That period has long since passed. The will’s witnesses have all confirmed the document’s validity–according to estate attorney Paul Gordon Hoffman, the individuals were contacted in the days after Michael Jackson’s death, and none indicated that their signatures were false.

Even if the most recent will–or the three most recent wills–was somehow overturned, the outcome would be the same: John Branca, who is named as an executor on all four, would still be one of the executors; 20% of all proceeds from the estate would go to charity, with the remainder split between a trust for Katherine Jackson and a trust for Michael’s children. If all four wills were invalidated, the children would inherit the estate at age 18, with Katherine Jackson and the charities left out. In theory, a more recent will could supersede the current will if discovered, but it seems highly unlikely that someone would have waited so long to come forward.

“It isn’t like someone who knew Michael, and thus would be in possession of his will, didn’t know about Michael’s death and thus is still holding it,” says Hoffman, who points out that none of Jackson’s many former lawyers or business managers knows of a more recent will. “No one has ever indicated that a later will was signed.”

But this is all essentially old news. Michael’s father Joseph, who was left out of the most recent will (and the three preceding wills), unsuccessfully challenged the will in the months following his son’s death. “Joe Jackson takes none of this estate,” declared Judge Mitchell Beckloff in 2009. “This is a decision his son made.” Beckloff formally appointed Branca and McClain as co-executors of the estate shortly thereafter, when Katherine Jackson dropped her initial objections and announced her support for their appointment.

In hindsight, that seems to have been a wise decision. The estate has generated roughly half a billion dollars in the three years since the King of Pop’s death, thanks to a slew of deals including a $60 million advance for the film This Is It, a new recording contract worth up to $250 million and the Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour, a joint venture with Cirque du Soleil that has already grossed over $75 million in the first half of 2012 according to Pollstar, more than any other North American concert tour.

In total, Michael Jackson has earned more in the past three years than any single living artist–yet another reason it would be hard to imagine the structure of his estate changing anytime soon.

Offline moonstreet

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #57 on: August 24, 2012, 08:26:18 AM »
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gf59ebinw7lzF23s6Q0c5F06bXQg?docId=db58453a2c674cf588bd1978c92e7913

Executor is cool under Jackson family pressure
By LINDA DEUTSCH, AP Special Correspondent – 8 hours ago 


LOS ANGELES (AP) — While family members squabble in public over Michael Jackson's money, the man who holds the purse strings of the estate is a calm center of the storm.

As co-executor of Jackson's will, John Branca chooses to ignore the erupting dramas and personal attacks and keeps his eye on the future, which he says belongs to Jackson's mother and children and to the pop star's musical legacy.

He and co-executor John McClain have been successfully pursuing projects to pay off a mountain of debt left by the superstar, to assure the financial future of his three children and to guarantee that Jackson's music will live forever.

"When Michael Jackson died, he was near bankruptcy," said Branca, suggesting the future for his three young children was uncertain. "Now we know the kids will be OK."

Branca sat down recently with The Associated Press to discuss the current state of the Jackson estate and projects to preserve Jackson's image as the King of Pop. But he resolutely refused to address the elephant in the room — recent attacks on him and McClain by some Jackson siblings who were left out of their brother's will.

They sent a lengthy letter that became public accusing the executors of deceit and manipulation of their mother and claiming that Jackson's will was a fraud. They have not taken any court action and legal experts say the time to challenge the will, which disinherited them, is long past.

Branca and McClain issued a statement calling the accusations "false and defamatory," adding "we are especially disheartened that they come at a time when remarkable progress is being made to secure the financial future of his children ..."

Secure in his knowledge that all four of Jackson's wills named him as executor, Branca continues to make deals for the Jackson estate that are generating millions in revenue. This week, they announced an agreement with Sony/ATV Music Publishing to administer Jackson's Mijac Music catalog, which includes such hits as "Beat It" and "Billie Jean." The deal is expected to generate enough revenues to pay off a remaining $5 million loan by year's end.

Since Jackson's death on June 25, 2009, Branca said the singer's personal debt of $200 million has been paid off and another $300 million tied to his ownership of the Sony and ATV catalogs has been renegotiated.

"Michael had a will and a trust and that's what we follow," he said.

The estate pays Mrs. Jackson $70,000 a month for the children's support, pays the rent on their mansion in Calabasas, and is picking up bills for other expenses including renovation of their Encino home.

Branca's AP interview was his indirect response to accusations by Janet, Jermaine, Randy and Rebbie Jackson that the estate was being mishandled. Jermaine later disavowed the incendiary letter and called for peace in the family. But Janet, Randy and Rebbie fired back with a letter of their own reiterating their complaints.

Brimming with excitement, Branca spoke of upcoming ventures he thinks would have delighted Jackson, especially a permanent Jackson-themed extravaganza on the Las Vegas Strip. It comes on the heels of the Cirque du Soleil Jackson tribute show, "Immortal: The World Tour."
"The Lion King" theater at the Mandalay Bay Hotel is being rebuilt to house the still untitled show, also a Cirque du Soleil production, which is set to open May 23, 2013.

"It will be highly theatrical and completely different from the arena show, which was more of a concert," Branca said. "We will have the opportunity to create something special and ground-breaking."

Declining to reveal all of the technical wizardry planned, he said, "We've got all kinds of tricks up our sleeves."
Every seat will have its own speakers, while the walls and ceiling will be used to create "a totally immersive experience for the audience," he said.

Unlike the touring show, there will be no live band and all music will come from remixes of Jackson's recordings.

Branca and co-executor McClain, a reclusive recording executive, say they understand Jackson's desires to take care of his mother and children — Prince, Paris and Blanket — financially and keep his music alive.

"We feel Michael entrusted us with his legacy and with the future of his mother and children," Branca said. "We're honored and proud and passionate about celebrating Michael. It's a labor of love for us. We love Michael."

Branca met Jackson in 1980 when both were just starting out. They would go on to legendary success together but there were also some rocky times. During more than two decades together, they had two three-year periods of estrangement over business disagreements.

Branca was rehired by Jackson a month before he died, with instructions to draft an agenda for future business deals. Branca presented the plan a week before Jackson died and it has been the roadmap for the estate's posthumous enterprises.

In addition to the upcoming Las Vegas show, a new album and a concert DVD will be released soon celebrating the 25th anniversary of Jackson's "BAD" album. Then a two-hour documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee on the making of "BAD" will show at the Toronto and Venice film festivals next month.

The anniversary promotions include a deal with Pepsi to put silhouettes of Jackson on a billion cans of soda in 20 countries.

And this week, the Cirque du Soleil traveling show begins an international tour to Mexico, Europe and perhaps Asia.

Offline moonstreet

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #58 on: October 27, 2012, 01:26:59 PM »
http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2012/10/24/michael-jacksons-personal-debts-to-be-paid-off-by-years-end/

INVESTING | 10/24/2012 @ 10:01AM
Michael Jackson's Personal Debts To Be Paid Off By Year's End


When Michael Jackson passed away in June 2009, his departure was met by the grieving of millions of fans around the world—and by a great deal of discussion and speculation over the fate of the half-billion dollars he owed to creditors ranging from big banks to “Thriller” director John Landis.

Many questions have been answered over the past three years as the King of Pop’s estate has continued to pull in nine figures on an annual basis, most recently $145 million over the past year. And according to representatives from the estate, the late singer’s personal debts will be paid off by the end of the year.

The last major non-business loan left is connected to Jackson’s Mijac Music, the entity that contains the copyrights to the songs he wrote over the course of his career. Shortly after the singer’s death, the estate started paying off a $75 million loan he had taken out against the catalog, negotiating the interest rate down from an exorbitant 15.5% to a very manageable 4%. The final payments on that loan are set to be made this fall.

It’s a major milestone for Michael Jackson’s growing postmortem business empire, especially considering where the estate began. After the singer’s death, it appeared that many of his assets were close to default, if not already there. But a handful of deals—including a $60 million advance for the concert film This Is It and a $250 million record deal with Sony, the largest in history—gave the estate the steady cash flow needed to pay off creditors.

In addition to paying down the massive loan on Mijac Music, the estate has paid $35 million owed to concert promoter AEG (in connection with Jackson’s planned This Is It tour) and the $4.1 million mortgage on the Jackson family estate in Encino, Calif. Smaller debts to individuals have been renegotiated and resolved, including an agreement with Landis, who had alleged that Jackson still owed him $2.3 million in 2009.

A substantial business loan ($280 million, by FORBES’ estimate) remains on Jackson’s 50% stake in the Sony/ATV publishing catalog. The singer shrewdly bought the entity’s precursor, ATV, for $47.5 million in 1985 after recognizing the value of the rights to songs it contained by The Beatles. Ten years later he merged the catalog with Sony’s publishing catalog after the company paid him $100 million as part of the deal, retaining half of the newly-formed combined entity for himself.

Today, the Sony/ATV catalog itself is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 billion, thanks to its ownership of copyrights by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and others. The interest rate on Jackson’s loan connected to the catalog has been sliced from 5.8% to 2.9% since his death. At that low rate, paying back the loan quickly, in full, may not even be financially expedient—the company’s funds could be better utilized by buying up new, money-generating copyrights.

That said, given Jackson’s postmortem earnings prowess, the estate could probably pay off that loan fairly soon if necessary. The singer’s Immortal World Tour, a joint venture with Cirque Du Soleil, has grossed $160 million this year, making Michael Jackson the top-grossing live act in North America three years after his death. Other deals–including one with Pepsi, Jackson’s first endorsement pact in two decades–should continue to add to the estate’s coffers.

Not even John Landis could have imagined such a resurrection.

Offline moonstreet

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Re: The Estate of Michael Jackson All News & Info
« Reply #59 on: November 25, 2012, 11:23:20 AM »
http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2012/11/21/michael-jacksons-personal-debts-paid-off-just-in-time-for-bad-25/

Michael Jackson's Personal Debts Paid Off, Just In Time For Bad 25
Zack O'Malley Greenburg, Forbes Staff 11/21/2012


On the eve of the Thanksgiving debut of Spike Lee’s Bad 25 documentary, the late Michael Jackson has a lot to be thankful for.

Yesterday a representative of the singer’s estate confirmed to FORBES that, on Monday, the estate paid off the last dollars on a loan connected to Mijac Music, the catalog that’s home to many songs composed by the King of Pop, including hits like “Beat It” and “Billie Jean.”

The payment means that the estate has eliminated the last of Jackson’s outstanding personal debts (FORBES reported last month that Jackson’s personal debts would be paid off by the end of the year). That’s no small feat, considering the pile obligations–roughly half a billion dollars–left behind by the singer when he passed away in 2009.


Jackson’s estate has been able to pay off that debt earlier than expected thanks to the enduring popularity of the King of Pop and his work, which spurred earnings of $145 million over the past year alone.

Financial highlights since 2009 include a $60 million advance for concert film This Is It, which went on to become the most successful concert film in history with a worldwide gross in excess of a quarter billion dollars, as well as a new $250 million record deal with Sony, the largest ever.

More recently, the Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour–a joint venture with Cirque du Soleil–grossed $160 million during its first leg, making it this year’s top tour in North America. The show now moves abroad, and is currently wending its way through Germany.

There are still some business debts left for Jackson, namely a loan that FORBES estimates at $280 million, connected to the Sony/ATV publishing catalog.

But the loan’s interest rate of 2.9%, negotiated down from 5.8% shortly after the singer’s death, seems innocuous enough–and perhaps necessary for continued expansion of the company, which is half-owned by Jackson’s estate.

Meanwhile, the show goes on. Lee’s BAD 25 documentary, which celebrates the quarter-century anniversary of Jackson’s followup to Thriller, will air on Thanksgiving at 9:30pm Eastern time on ABC.