EMI to Pay Michael Jackson $70 Million to Manage Music

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Published: November 25, 1993
The pop singer Michael Jackson said through his lawyer yesterday that EMI Music Publishing would begin managing his 6,000-title music catalogue, which includes most early Beatles hits, in a deal being described as the most lucrative in music publishing.

Mr. Jackson will receive $70 million in advance against revenue that EMI expected to generate managing the publishing rights to ATV Music. The catalogue, acquired by Mr. Jackson in 1985 for $47.5 million, includes the classic Lennon-McCartney Beatles compositions, as well as songs from Little Richard, Elvis Presley and the Pointer Sisters.

Total revenue over the deal’s five-year term is estimated to be $150 million, said Martin N. Bandier, president of EMI Music Publishing, which controls 900,000 songs in its own catalogues. Financing for Acquisitions

As part of the deal, EMI had agreed to provide financing for acquisitions of other music catalogues in a partnership arrangement, in which EMI and the singer would share future ownership.

Such an arrangement increased the value of the deal, making it the largest in music publishing, according to John Branca, Mr. Jackson’s lawyer.

The deal comes at a difficult time for the singer. Mr. Jackson, who recently ended a world tour so he could be treated for addiction to pain-killers, is believed to be receiving medical treatment in London, according to British news reports. He is facing a lawsuit in California by a 13-year-old boy, who contends Mr. Jackson sexually molested him. Mr. Jackson has denied the charges. Criminal investigations into the allegations are being conducted, and the boy’s civil suit has been set for trial on March 21.

“ATV’s use and value is impervious to Michael’s own success,” Mr. Branca said.

ATV, along with Mijac Music, which controls rights to Mr. Jackson’s own song writing, make Mr. Jackson one of the largest independent music publishers in the world, Mr. Branca said. Mijac Music is excluded from the EMI deal. ‘Major Additions’

“We expect major additions in the next few years,” he said, noting that a probable first target would be the Jobete catalogue of the Motown Records Corporation, owned by Barry Gordy. Several years ago, Mr. Gordy turned down a $175 million offer for Jobete, which then had half the revenue of ATV, Mr. Branca said. Last year, ATV had sales of $25 million.

Mr. Bandier of EMI said his company had managed ATV Music under its previous owner, Robert Holmes a Court, the late Australian financier. And EMI had outbid Mr. Jackson by $500,000 for the ATV catalogue in 1985. “But when Michael agreed to go to Perth to perform at a charity benefit I knew we were out of luck,” Mr. Bandier recalled. “We can’t moonwalk.”

MCA, a unit of the Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, had managed the ATV catalogue under a three-year contract that will expire on Dec. 31.

 Source:  NYTimes.com

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