Michael Jackson Estate Reportedly Prepares to Sell Catalog Stake in $800-$900 Million Deal

Michael Jackson In the Studio
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Michael Jackson In the Studio
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Photo Credit: Zoran Veselinovic / CC by 2.0

The Michael Jackson estate is reportedly preparing to sell half the King of Pop’s catalog in an $800 million to $900 million deal.

Word of the potential song-rights sale, which would reportedly extend to the Michael Jackson estate’s publishing and recorded interests alike, came to light in a recent report from Variety. The outlet cited anonymous sources with knowledge of the matter when detailing the possible deal, but at the time of this writing, neither the “Thriller” artist’s estate nor any prospective buyer(s) had publicly addressed the matter.

And on the latter front, Sony Music Entertainment is said to be negotiating for the body of work (reportedly including a stake in the forthcoming Michael biopic and Jackson’s Broadway show as well) at present. Additionally, “a possible financial partner” could reportedly go in with SME – which, along with Jackson’s estate, quietly settled a “fake song” lawsuit in 2022 – on the nearly billion-dollar play.

Like with the overarching transaction, though, the specifics of this potential co-investor are unclear at the moment. However, it’s worth noting that MRC owner Eldridge Industries (which bought The Killers’ pre-Imploding the Mirage publishing catalog in November of 2020) is said to have coordinated with Sony Music on a reportedly $500 million deal for Bruce Springsteen’s body of work.

Plus, Shamrock Capital last week announced that it had raised $600 million to inject into the entertainment space – after reportedly closing a massive deal for Dr. Dre’s catalog as Universal Music Group wrapped a separate transaction for The Chronic artist’s IP.

Finally, Sony Music Publishing last year signed songwriter Ashley Gorley to a global deal “in partnership with” investment firm Domain Capital Group. Domain itself rolled out a $700 million entertainment fund (and bought the music IP of Iggy Azalea) in November.

In any event, it also bears mentioning that the off-the-record comments of certain purportedly well-informed anonymous sources have proven unreliable as of late.

While it appears unlikely that multiple parties would speak about a possible Michael Jackson catalog sale without possessing knowledge of the matter, the better part of a year has now passed since reports emerged about Pink Floyd’s own sales plans.

Different reports yet subsequently attached a $500 million price tag to the rumored transaction, but it wasn’t until November of 2022 that sources identified complicating details and the related possibility that the sale wouldn’t wrap at all. Said complicating details refer to “months of fighting” between Pink Floyd’s members as well as the previously undiscussed omission of the act’s publishing rights from the transaction.

Needless to say, the Pink Floyd catalog buyout hasn’t closed, and multiple other rumored acquisitions (outside the catalog sphere) pinpointed by anonymous individuals have thus far failed to come to fruition.