2016: The Year in Charts

Sony Finalizes Acquisition of Michael Jackson Estate's Stake in Sony/ATV Publishing

Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Michael Jackson performs circa 1986.  

The completion of the previously announced deal “marks the start of an exciting new chapter in our proud history,” says Sony/ATV CEO Martin Bandier.

The Sony Corp. has completed its acquisition of the Michael Jackson's estate share of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, giving it sole ownership of the music publishing powerhouse.

The deal was first announced in March, but it took a while to close because the transaction had to be scrutinized by the EU Commission and because the Jackson estate needed to do some house cleaning in preparation for cashing out, sources say.

While the press release announcing the closing said that Sony paid $750 million for the Jackson's estate 50% share in the company, Billboard estimates that the company's valuation was anywhere from $2.2 billion to $2.4 billion when debt and an earlier agreed upon discount-- for some other consideration previously given by Sony to the Jackson estate--are taken into account.

"The payment also reflects certain contractual and accounting adjustments related to the Sony/ATV joint venture and other commercial opportunities involving Sony and the Estate," the announcement said.

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Both Sony and the Jackson estate still have a stake in EMI Music Publishing, which they acquired when a consortium, including other investors, put together by Sony, acquired that publishing entity now administered by EMI. And of course, Sony still issues Jackson's music.

Sony said the purchase is not expected to have a material impact on its forecasted financial results for the year ending March 31, 2017.

"The completion of this deal is terrific news for Sony/ATV and everyone who works for the company," Sony/ATV chairman/CEO Martin Bandier said in a statement. "It marks the start of an exciting new chapter in our proud history and we cannot wait to get started as a 100% Sony-owned company. Sony Corporation has shown absolute faith and support in us and what we do by undertaking this deal and we are ready to repay that trust in the months and years ahead."

For its part, the Jackson estate noted that the transaction will not affect its continuing substantial interests in other music assets, including all of Jackson's master recordings as well as Mijac Music, the publishing company that owns all of the songs written by Jackson as well as songs by some of his favorite songwriters and artists that were acquired by Michael during his life. 

"I'd also like to take a moment to thank the Estate and especially John Branca, John McClain and Karen Langford for everything they have done for Sony/ATV over the two decades of the joint venture," Bandier added. "They will remain an integral part of our legacy."