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Attorney/advisor Branca is helping the legally beset superstar negotiate what is said to be a very complicated financial scenario amid what is clearly a difficult period.

ADVISORS TO JACKO:
ALL YOU NEED IS CASH

Branca and Koppelman Have Beatles for Sale Cranked Up on the Stereo, but Is the Cash-Strapped King of Pop Listening?
Chatter continues hot and heavy that Michael Jackson needs money in a hurry.

He is said to require funds urgently to cover a $70 million loan from Bank of America secured by his Mijac publishing company, while a second, $200 million loan secured by his 50% interest in Sony/ATV Music Publishing (of which John Branca’s firm, Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca and Fischer LLP, owns 5%) is also a concern, though a reportedly less urgent one.

Attorney/advisor Branca is helping Jackson understand and negotiate what is said to be a very complicated financial scenario during what is clearly a difficult period. Jackson’s other assets include his masters, currently leased to Sony Music, and Neverland, which is said to be worth about $50 million. But given that by selling his Sony/ATV stake, which includes all those Beatles copyrights, Jackson could reportedly clear all his debt, Branca is said to be trying to persuade the legally beset superstar to do so before the loans come due. That way, Jackson’s team would still be able to negotiate the price, as opposed to the bank selling his stake if he were to default, at which point the price would be out of his hands. 

Meanwhile, Sony/ATV, which reports to Sony U.S.’s Rob Wiesenthal, is said to be eager to make a deal to buy out Jackson, since as half-owner, Jackson currently has veto power over any deal in excess of $1 million. If Sony ponies up a number tolerable to Jackson, a third party may not be involved, but there have already been whispers of Jackson adviser Charles Koppelman bringing in Goldman Sachs as another potential buyer—though many are wondering what the investment bank’s play is. All involved are said to be treading very lightly around an understandably high-strung Jackson as this situation plays out.

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