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Sony buys interest in Michael Jackson music catalogue for $750m

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Michael Jackson’s estate has sold its interest in a massive music catalogue to Sony for $750m (€673.8m).

Sony and Jackson’s estate announced the sale of the Sony/ATV catalogue in a joint press release.

Jackson’s estate owned a half share of the catalogue, which includes the works of artists such as The Beatles and Bob Dylan.

The press release said Jackson purchased the ATV portion of the catalogue for $41.5m in 1985.

The sale does not transfer to Sony ownership of Jackson’s master recordings or rights to songs the King of Pop wrote.

Jackson’s estate benefits his mother and three children.

The Sony/ATV catalogue represented one of Jackson’s greatest assets when he died in June 2009 at the age of 50, although the singer was deeply in debt at the time.

Sony will also take ownership of works by Eminem and Taylor Swift.

The deal is another posthumous blockbuster deal for Jackson, whose estate has erased the singer’s massive debts through a mixture of new music and movie ventures and re-releases of the singer’s most popular music.

Sony president and chief executive Kazuo Hirai said: “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 co-executors of Jackson’s estate, lawyer John Branca and music executive John McClain, said: “This transaction further allows us to continue our efforts of maximising 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.”

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