Record player

Sony has announced that it will pay Michael Jackson's estate $750 million (£526m) for his half of the joint music venture between the two parties.

Sony and the late pop star launched Sony ATV Music Publishing as part of their partnership which started in 1995, each taking a 50% stake.

The buy-out will see Sony take ownership of the rights to around three million songs by artists like The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Taylor Swift.

It is understood that the move will help to clear the Jackson estate's debt, which stands at around $250m.

Sony's president and chief executive, Kazuo Hirai, said: "The entertainment businesses have long been a core part of Sony and are a key driver of our future growth.

"These businesses will continue to contribute to our success for years to come."

John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Jackson estate, said: "[The deal]

further validates Michael's foresight and genius in investing in music publishing".

"His ATV catalogue, purchased in 1985 for a net acquisition cost of $41.5m, was the cornerstone of the joint venture and, as evidenced by the value of this transaction, is considered one of the smartest investments in music history."