Sony/ATV Music Publishing and the estate of Michael Jackson today announced a long-term extension of Sony/ATV’s worldwide administration of Jackson’s Mijac Music catalog. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded by Jackson in 1980 as his personal publishing company, Mijac Music grew into a formidable catalog, including his own compositions as well as the Sly and the Family Stone catalog and songs by the legendary Philadelphia soul team of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, as well as songs made famous by other artists such as Ray Charles, Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin.
Sony/ATV Chairman and CEO Martin Bandier said: “Michael Jackson’s Mijac catalog is one of the most significant and valuable in music. Michael’s songwriting talents are respected and admired by everyone, but I also want to acknowledge his gifts as a smart businessman who put together an incredible catalog of classic songs. His estate continues to further his vision and we are privileged to be the administrators of such an important collection of songs.”
The Sony Corporation bought out the estate’s 50 percent share of Sony/ATV in 2016 for $750 million. Jackson had purchased the ATV catalog in 1985 (which owns the rights to most of the Beatles’ songs) for $41.5 million, and it with Sony Music Publishing as a joint venture in 1995. After the 2016 deal, his estate retained the rights to Mijac as well as its 10% share in EMI Music Publishing, which was acquired by a consortium led by Sony/ATV in 2012; Sony acquired 30% ownership in EMI as part of the deal.
Sources tell Variety that the remaining 60% — which is held by a consortium of investors including Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development, Jynwel Capital, Blackstone Group’s GSO Capital Partners and David Geffen — is up for sale, with Sony as the likely buyer.
The Mijac catalog includes all of the songs written by Jackson, including “Another Part Of Me,” “Bad,” “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Black or White,” “Can You Feel It,” “Dangerous,” “Dirty Diana,” “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” “Earth Song,” “Heal the World,” “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Jam,” Scream,” “Smooth Criminal,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “They Don’t Care About Us,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “We Are the World” and “Say Say Say” and “The Girl Of Mine,” the latter two of which he recorded with Sir Paul McCartney.
Jackson’s first acquisition in 1983 was the catalog of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist Sylvester Stewart, aka, Sly Stone. Thereafter, Mijac went on to acquire thousands more songs, including “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now,” “After Midnight,” “Ease on Down the Road,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher,” “I Got A Woman,” “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Love Train,” “Mr. Bojangles,” “People Get Ready,” “Runaround Sue,” “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” “Sixteen Candles,” “The Wanderer,” “What’d I Say,” “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “You Don’t Know Me”.