Michael Jackson may loose Beatles catalogue

Published: 2005-12-21
Michael Jackson's $200 million loan may cause him to loose his 50% chunk of a song catalogue which contains about 200 Beatles songs.

Back in 1985 when MJ and former Beatle Paul McCartney were still buddies, McCartney told MJ, and rightly so, that a great way to make big bucks in the music industry was to buy the publishing rights to songs. So when ATV Music Publishing, which owned over 200 Beatles tracks went on sale MJ snatched it up and effectively ended his friendship with the McCartney who of course wanted to own the publishing rights to the songs he helped write.

Ten years later ATV merged with Sony to create Sony-ATV and a catalogue of 2000 songs which included the Beatles tunes of course but also Bob Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind", Joni Mitchell and Stevie Nicks. MJ retained 50% ownership of the collection - his share is worth about $500 million.

So when he wanted to take out a loan with the Bank of America for $200 million he put up his song catalogue for collateral. The loans are now held by the Fortress Investment Group and have come due on December 20 and Jackson may stand to loose his portion of the publishing rights if something isn't worked out.

However, Jackson's lawyer, Brent Ayscough, says that they are working on a way to extend the
loans and that the the chance of Jackson loosing these assets was unlikely. According to Reuters
"There's no doomsday, or anything like that," Ayscough said. "Nothing's going to happen tomorrow. ... At the moment people are still talking." He said a deal could be reached as early as this week.

If Jackson does loose the rights, Sony would likely be anxious to scoop up his

Writer: Michelle Garcia



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