Anyone worried about the massive debt Michael Jackson left behind can sleep soundly now. Yesterday, the King of Pop’s estate reached a deal with Sony for upwards of $250 million dollars, making the seven-year, 10-project pact the most lucrative deal in music history.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, the deal “guarantees the estate at least $200 million,” which comes in handy since the estate will “likely pay off about $125 million in debt by the end of this year, including $35 million owed to AEG Live.” With some refinancing, the estate finds itself breathing again, as the $300 million dollar loan, which was backed by Sony/ATV, had been a surmounting problem for Jackson prior to his death.
The new deal, however, gives Sony the right to distribute Jackson’s recordings through 2017. In addition to extending the deal by two years (originally, they had it ’til 2015), Sony now owns rights to Jackson’s recordings since the original contract signed in the ’80s, this includes even more recent material such as the soundtrack Is This It and the latest re-issues.
What’s exciting, though, is what Sony has planned. Some speculation has led insiders to believe a Cirque de Soleil show is in the cards, and as Rolling Stone reports, “an album of unreleased material culled from Jacksons personal musical vaults, which reportedly house as much as three albums worth of unheard material,” will hit stores before Christmas.
Does anyone else feel dirty about all this?