LOS ANGELES (UPI) -- Superstar singer Michael Jackson has paid up to $50 million for a British music publishing company that controls the copyrights to 40,000 songs, including most of the Beatles classics, it was reported.
The acquisition of ATV Music, part of the entertainment conglomerate ACC of Great Britain, would be one of the biggest music acquisitions ever by an individual.
Sources close to Jackson told the Los Angeles Times Wednesday that the singer had paid between $40 million and $50 million for ATV, which includes songs by Little Richard, Pat Benatar, the Pretenders and the Pointer Sisters.
But the biggest part of the deal is the catalogue of 251 songs written by Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney between 1964 and 1970, including such classics as "Yesterday," "Michelle," "Help" and "Let It Be."
A music company executive whose firm once tried to make the purchase told the Times that "About 80 of those songs are what we call 'real serious earners.'" Many of the songs are still being recorded by other artists.
McCartney and Lennon originally turned over copyright control of the 251 songs to a company called Northern Songs Ltd., which they formed in the 1960s. They sold out a few years later for a nominal sum to get capital gains benefits, a Beatles attorney told the Times.
Jackson, one of the most successful recording artists of all time, outbid several other companies, and becomes one of the world's top 15 music publishers with the acquisition.