One of Michael Jackson's most valued assets was his 50% stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which has more than 750,000 copyrights. They include many hit Beatles songs as well as songs by Bob Dylan, John Mayer, Lady Gaga and the Jonas Brothers.
The total catalog has been valued by some at more than $1 billion. Of course, given the challenges facing the music industry, that figure may be a little optimistic. Regardless, Sony Corp. no doubt would like to get its hands on the 50% it doesn't already own. Jackson's half was held in a trust, a person familiar with the situation said. Jackson still has considerable financial woes, and his beneficiaries may be required to sell off many of his assets, including the catalog, to clear the singer's debt.
-- Joe Flint