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LYNTON'S BUY/SELL CONFIRMATION MEMO

In an apparent effort to calm nerves frazzled by a 10/7 WSJ report on the possible sale of Sony/ATV, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton sent an email to the pubco’s staff just as the story was breaking confirming that Sony had initiated the buy/sell process with the Michael Jackson estate and explaining how it might proceed. We’ve obtained that memo; what follows is the complete text.

Dear Sony/ATV Colleagues,

Sony Corporation of America and the Estate of Michael Jackson have begun what is known as a buy/sell process, in which each will have the opportunity to buy the other’s half, or sell its half, of Sony/ATV Music Publishing. 

As you know, Sony/ATV is a joint venture between Sony and the Estate of Michael Jackson and operates based on a joint venture agreement.  The joint venture agreement lays out procedures for the buy/sell process.  Sony considers that now is an appropriate time to review our ownership status and thus has decided to begin this process.  We will decide our next steps, based on a number of factors, as this process advances.

The music publishing business has been a stable profit contributor for its partners, and we highly regard the company, its leadership and personnel, and its performance.  I strongly believe that, whoever ultimately ends up owning the company, Sony/ATV will remain a great business and a leader in music publishing for many years to come.

This process has just now begun, and as noted our next steps will be based on a number of different factors.  For now, I ask that you proceed with business as usual, stay focused on your work, and continue to build on Sony/ATV’s terrific legacy and success.  

Michael Lynton

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