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Jacko finances still to be untangled

By | Published on Monday 29 June 2009

Which brings us to Jackson’s financial affairs. While Michael was reportedly on good terms with the rest of his family, they seemingly had little knowledge of his business and financial affairs. And given Jacko’s tendency in recent years to switch advisors and attorneys and accountants on a very regular basis, it’s suspected that no one person has a complete handle on the king of pop’s financial position.

Though it’s assumed that Jackson would only have agreed to a career revival as gruelling as the fifty night O2 residency he was signed up to do before his death if he was really desperate for cash. Insiders say a less intense, less public recordings-based project would have been more attractive to Jackson had such a venture been sufficient to meet his financial needs. The fact he turned down such projects (at one point he was in talks with Simon Fuller about such a venture) in favour of the mega-bucks AEG O2 residency deal suggests his cash reserves were in very low supply.

A string of creditors are now expected to line up as Jackson’s estate is investigated by his family’s representatives. While a Neverland theme park and a resurgence of consumer interest in Jackson’s recordings catalogue might help pay of some, if the singer’s debts are as significant as some have said, it’s doubtful there will be enough money to go round without the sale of some or all of the singer’s biggest single asset – his half of the Sony/ATV publishing company, which has been valued at $1 billion by some. The sale of Jackson’s Sony/ATV stake would probably pay off most of his debts and maybe even leave a mini-fortune for his children, though probably not anywhere near the size of fortune he’d have liked to have left.

Whether Sony Corp would be able to afford to buy Jacko’s share, or whether they would have to face working with a new business partner moving forward, isn’t clear. Despite Sony Corp’s own financial problems, Sony/ATV is one of its most successful businesses, so you’d think they’d be able to raise the finance to buy the Jackson estate out, should such a sale be required.