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Jacko news

By | Published on Tuesday 21 July 2009

OK, a little more Jacko now – and some business speculation, some death speculation and some Neverland speculation, in that order.

First up, the New York Times has reported that interest is growing in Michael Jackson’s half of the Sony/ATV music publishing partnership. Jackson’s shrewdest investment of all, there are various different valuations for the singer’s stake in the ATV publishing enterprise, though the Times reckons it could be worth over $500 million. Certainly most of Jackson’s well documented debts were secured on the publishing business. If his ATV shares now have to be sold to settle his affairs, the New York paper reports there will be various people interested in bidding for them.

The paper names Colony Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Plainfield Asset Management and the media mogul Haim Saban as being among the interested parties. That said, Sony has the first right of refusal if I’m not mistaken, and presumably Sony Corp could find $500 million to buy out Jacko’s share, given that the music publishing company is one of the most successful businesses in the wider Sony group. If they did, coming a year after they bought BMG out of the SonyBMG partnership, it would make the Corp’s music assets significant.

Second, back to the rumours surrounding the late King Of Pop’s death, and this time some comments from Jermaine Jackson – who always seems the most rational of the Jackson clan. He has been urging caution when it comes to jumping to conclusions as to what exactly led to his brother’s death. Telling the Sun that he is yet to see any results from toxicology tests on Michael’s body, he says that, despite comments made by his father and sister La Toya who are convinced there was foul play, he’d prefer to wait until a full coroners report is available before developing a theory as to what happened in the hours before his brother’s demise.

Jermaine: “I have no idea what happened in those [last] 24 hours. They talk about painkillers and all that kind of stuff but I am uneducated when it comes to any of that. I haven’t heard any toxicology reports yet and I wouldn’t call it anything until we find out what the reports say and until the conclusion of the investigation”.

He added: “I know my sister La Toya said she thought it was murder and that is how she’s taking it. That’s her emotions speaking out. My father has said things because he lost a son. I say wait to see what the toxicology report says, then go from there. If there’s foul play, investigators can track back and see what happened. If it was murder, then who did it?” As previously reported, medics involved in Jackson’s life are reportedly already under police suspicion, most notably Dr Conrad Murray, the singer’s private physician, though he insists he is in no way connected with his former employer’s death.

Finally for now, back to Jacko’s former home, the Neverland ranch, and those previously reported plans by some to turn the property into a Graceland’s style tourist attraction. As previously reported, the finance firm who hold the mortgage on the property are keen to turn the singer’s former home into a tribute-come-theme-park, despite it being tarnished somewhat by the unproven child abuse allegations made against the singer, most of which centred on when children stayed at the home, and the fact Jackson chose not to return there after his acquittal on those charges. As also previously reported, those in favour of a Neverland attraction have suggested the singer should be buried there.

But according to the Associated Press, some of Jackson’s former neighbours don’t like the idea of their corner of Santa Barbara County becoming destination number one on the Californian tourist trail, and have grouped together to form a protest group called ‘Never!’ to oppose any plans to open Neverland to the public. Infrastructure issues have already been raised as an issue if Neverland was to become a Gracelands style attraction.

And that’s your daily dose of Jacko. Well, except for the stripped down Jackson remix album we’ll tell you about in a minute.