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Still, Jackson could walk away from a deal with close to $300 million—the value of his portion of the partnership, minus $200 million to pay off the loan, due in December 2005.
JACKSON READY TO SELL TO SONY/ATV?
N.Y. Post Claims Jacko Ready To Sell His Share of Publishing Company
Music publisher Sony/ATV, which reverted back to Sony Corp. after the recent music holdings merger between Sony and BMG, and Michael Jackson are expected to begin negotiations soon to unwind a partnership that owns the rights to songs by, among others, The Beatles, the N.Y. Post reports.

Sony wants to buy out Jackson, who is facing child molestation charges and dwindling finances. General discussions between Sony and Jackson's representatives, including music attorney John Branca and financial adviser Charles Koppelman, about the post-merger direction of the partnership have taken place, according to sources.

Sony could be in the driver's seat, given Jackson's half of the partnership carries a $200 million loan from Bank of America—co-signed by Sony.  Still, Jackson could walk away from a deal with close to $300 million—the value of his portion of the partnership, minus $200 million to pay off the loan, due in December 2005.

Sony also may opt to form a partnership with another party to fund the acquisition, including Koppelman, the former chairman of EMI, who is backed by Goldman Sachs and is seeking to acquire music-publishing catalogs.

Koppelman made a bid last year for Warner Music's publishing arm, Warner Chappell, and is believed to be considering a deal to acquire Jackson's stake in Sony/ATV. Jackson paid $47.5 million in 1985 to acquire the Beatles' publishing rights, and in 1997 reached a deal to partner with Sony.

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