** “MJ Song Catalog Will Moonwalk to Sony/ATV Publishing” | The Official Michael Jackson Site

** “MJ Song Catalog Will Moonwalk to Sony/ATV Publishing”

“Deal agreed over Michael Jackson catalogue”

August 20, 2012 6:06 pm
By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York

Michael Jackson hits from Beat It to Billie Jean will for the first time be represented by the late singer’s publishing joint venture with Sony, after Sony/ATV Music Publishing agreed a deal to administer the Mijac Music catalogue.

The rights have been administered since Mijac was founded in 1980 by Warner-Chappell, the publishing arm of Warner Music. Publishing companies typically generate less revenue from administration deals than from copyrights they own.

The deal represents the latest move by Jackson’s executors to clean up what was a tangle of assets encumbered by large debts at the time of his death in 2009. Then, industry executives estimated the Mijac catalogue’s value at $50m-$100m, but there was a $73m loan from Barclays secured against it.

Within a year, Billboard estimated that the value of Mijac had risen to $150m, with a surge in sales of Jackson’s music after his death doubling annual revenues to $50m.

Jackson’s estate made clear in a message distributed to fan sites that it still owned Mijac and had no plans to sell. “Sony/ATV is a great company and the estate owns half of it but no one, not even Sony/ATV, will ever own Mijac while John McClain and I remain in charge,” said John Branca, co-executor with Mr McClain.

Sony/ATV would administer the catalogue “for a limited term” and on ”unprecedented favourable terms”, he said. The estate had refinanced the loans on Mijac, which would be paid off, it added: “Mijac and Michael’s masters [the master rights] remain secure for the benefit of Michael’s children for years to come.”

Billboard estimated in 2010 that the singer’s estate had generated more than $1bn in revenues in the year after his death from the sale of about 9m albums, box office, DVD and television income from the concert film, This Is It, and other sources such as merchandising.

The Mijac deal comes before September’s planned 25th anniversary re-release of Bad, his 1987 album. Promotional activities for the anniversary include a deal with Pepsi, which will put silhouettes of the star on a billion cans in 20 countries.



“Michael Jackson Estate Deals Blow to Warner Music, Brings Publishing to Sony”

08/20/12 6:15pm Roger Friedman

The Michael Jackson music catalog, known as MiJac, has been moved to Sony-ATV from Warner Chappell. In layman’s terms: this is a blow to Warner Music and a major win for Sony. Even though MiJac was heavily leveraged for years, I’m told the loan from HSBC is down to around $4 million. The Michael Jackson estate still owes just under $300 million to Bank of America on separate loans Michael took against his ownership in Sony-ATV Music Publishing.

What’s happened now is that Jackson’s long contract with Warner Chappell, the publishing division of Warner Music Group, expired last December. Sony-ATV, in which he has a 50% ownership interest, had the right to match or better any offer when MiJac’s deal with WMG was done. The deal was actually completed a couple of months ago, I’m told. But with all the brouhaha concerning Katherine Jackson and the Jackson siblings demand to oust Michael’s executors, an announcement was put off.

Now all of Michael Jackson’s music publishing will be in one place: Sony-ATV. MiJac holds all of his songs like “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” plus hundreds of other publishing copyrights including everything by Sly Stone. It’s a plum win for Sony and a devastating loss for Warner Music. Warner Chappell was the only part of that company still doing well. To lose MiJac, especially since Jackson’s death and the renewed interest in his music, is a heavy setback. It’s unclear whether that was explained to Len Blavatnik and his Access Industries group when they bought WMG from Edgar Bronfman Jr last year.

Meantime: it’s been underlined that now neither MiJac nor Sony-ATV or the Beatles catalog, is for sale. The Jackson estate has done an excellent job of paying down the various loans and renegotiating the interest rates in more favorable terms.



related article in 2011

“Michael Jackson Song Catalog Will Moonwalk to Sony/ATV Publishing”

02/16/11 12:08 pm Roger Friedman 19

Exclusive: Michael Jackson, even in death, remains in the middle of the current musical chairs deals in the declining record industry.

For all these years, Michael’s MiJac Publishing has been administered by Warner Chappell, part of what is now Warner Music Group. MiJac includes not only Michael’s hits that he wrote, like “Billie Jean” and “Beat It,” but a vast number of other hits including those of Ray Charles, Curtis Mayfield, and Sly and the Family Stone.

Warner Chappell doesn’t own MiJac but it administers the rights to it and collects hefty fees. With WMG for sale, and talk of Warner Chappell being sold off, MiJac would seem like an integral part of their story.

But there’s a hitch that I can reveal to you: MiJac is leaving Warner Chappell and going to become part of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the company that Michael Jackson’s estate co-owns with Sony and contains the Beatles catalog.

According to sources, this arrangement was written into the MiJac contract with Warner Chappell years ago. It would be triggered by the release of the next Jackson album–in this case, the recent “Michael”–and the repayment of loans.

The move by MiJac to Sony/ATV is a big deal for many reasons. With both WMG and EMI Music for sale, Sony

Sony/ATV could be kicking the tires of each company’s publishing divisions for purchase. But Warner Chappell might be less interesting to Sony ATV considering they’re already getting Mi Jac. And without MiJac, Warner Chappell–which just had a down quarter–might not look so good to other potential buyers.

What may happen now: the newer, and very hot, BMG Music Rights will likely make a play for EMI Music Publishing. EMI Music–the record company, which has the Beatles albums in its catalog–the physical albums and box sets–could then be merged with another record company like Sony Music or, more horrifyingly, Warner Music. Stay tuned.


Comments (2)

+ an email from Co-Executor John Branca to Jeff Jampol, GM of the MJ Online team


I understand that you are being asked a lot of questions about Mijac.
Yes, there is a matching right that Michael granted to Sony/ATV but they only get to administer the catalog for a limited term AND only if they agree to unprecedented favorable terms. We will not relinquish ultimate control and ownership to anyone. We have favorably refinanced the loans on Mijac which will be paid off and the catalog WILL absolutely be passed to Michael's children as long as we have anything to say about it.

Sony/ATV is a great company and the Estate owns half of it but no one, not even Sony/ATV, will ever own Mijac while John McClain and I remain in charge.

The current Sony team is the one Michael chose to work with on the Thriller 25 release and they are good partners. As stated in the recent court filings, they worked with us to refinance the burdensome debt that had been placed on Michael's interest in Sony/ATV to very favorable terms, an important achievement which insures that Mijac and Michael’s masters remain secure for the benefit of Michael's children for years to come.

I would appreciate your sharing this with the fans that are asking questions.

Thanks – John

John Branca
The Estate Of Michael Jackson
Los Angeles, CA "


Monday, 20 August 2012 14:09

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.