Major financial firms have made inquiries into buying the 50 per cent share of Sony/ATV Music Publishing owned by the estate of Michael Jackson, according to the New York Times.

The Times names Colony Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Plainfield Asset Management and the media mogul Haim Saban as being among the interested parties. The 50% Jackson stake could be worth $500 million.

Entertainment lawyer John G. Branca and John McClain, a music executive, will make decisions about the estate, pending confirmation at an Aug. 3 court hearing in Los Angeles.

Sony could also exercise an option to buy half of the Jackson estate's holding, the New York Times says.