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Sony confirms acquisition of Jackson estate’s share of EMI Music Publishing

By | Published on Tuesday 31 July 2018

EMI Music Publishing

Sony Corp has confirmed that it has now agreed a deal that will give it complete ownership of the EMI Music Publishing business, subject to regulator approval.

Sony, of course, led a consortium of investors to buy the EMI Music Publishing company back in 2012. Since then Sony’s own global music publishing outfit, Sony/ATV, has administrated all the EMI-controlled song rights.

Back in May, Sony confirmed it had agreed to buy out most of the other members of that consortium in a $2.3 billion deal that would give the Japanese conglom a 90% stake of the EMI songs business. As a result, EMI Music Publishing would become a “consolidated subsidiary of Sony”.

The remaining 10% of EMI was controlled by the Michael Jackson estate. The estate owned half of Sony/ATV at the time of the EMI transaction in 2012, Jackson having originally merged his ATV songs business with Sony’s music publishing division back in 1995. Sony bought the Jackson estate out of Sony/ATV in 2016, but that deal did not include the estate’s concurrent stake in EMI Music Publishing.

However, in its latest financial report to investors, Sony has now confirmed a separate deal to acquire the Jackson estate’s slice of EMI, which will make the publisher a wholly owned subsidiary that will likely be properly merged with Sony/ATV down the line.

However, Sony’s big bid to take complete ownership of the EMI song catalogues is still subject to regulator approval. The indie music sector will oppose the deal, though it seems likely that – if anything – regulators will force the offloading of some catalogues rather than blocking the transaction outright.