*Michael Jackson‘s estate is about to make even more money.
But to make that money, the estate has agreed to sell its 50% stake in Sony/ATV to its joint venture partner for $750 million.
The deal will help eliminate debt carried by the Jackson estate, while strengthening Sony’s position as a music publisher.
READ RELATED STORY: Michael Jackson’s Estate Brought in the Big Bucks, $600M
Sony/ATV’s catalog includes works from artists such as Wyclef Jean, Taylor Swift and the Beatles.
And to give you an idea of how valuable the catalog is, some of the songs the publishing company controls are “New York, New York,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “All You Need Is Love” and “The Mission Impossible Theme.”
Sony and Jackson formed Sony/ATV in 1995, a decade after the King of Pop paid $41.5 million to acquire the ATV catalog, which included many Beatles songs. Jackson outbid Paul McCartney to clinch the deal, according to CNN Money.
Publishing rights give the owner control over how music and lyrics are used in radio, TV and film. AMC’s Mad Men, for example, reportedly paid $250,000 to use the Beatles song “Tomorrow Never Knows” in a 2012 episode.
During his lifetime, Jackson was among the first to recognize the value in controlling the rights to popular works.
A statement from John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of Jackson’s estate, said the singer’s original purchase of the ATV catalog was “one of the smartest investments in music history.”
“This transaction further allows us to continue our efforts of maximizing the value of Michael’s estate for the benefit of his children,” Branca and McClain said in a statement. “It also further validates Michael’s foresight and genius in investing in music publishing.”
READ RELATED STORY: Conrad Murray Says He Talks About Michael ‘Cause Estate Did in Trial
Michael Jackson fans will be happy to learn that his master recordings will remain under the estate’s control and are not included in the deal. Mijac Music, which owns all songs written by Jackson and select works by other artists, will also remain part of the star’s estate.
To put things in perspective, keep in mind that at the time of his death, Jackson was heavily in debt.