Michael Jackson Estate Decides to Keep Rights to Beatles Songs

Michael Jackson’s estate was sued for $1.2 million by a Bahrain financial adviser that claims it helped the singer obtain $320 million in loans in 2005.

AQ Consulting WLL was hired by Jackson to help refinance $300 million Jackson owed to Fortress Investment Group LLC, AQ claimed yesterday in a complaint in federal court in New York.

AQ said it secured a commitment from Citigroup Inc. to refinance the debt. Fortress, which had a right of last offer with Jackson, then agreed to refinance the loans itself. AQ got Jackson an additional $20 million in loans, it claimed.

According to AQ, Jackson agreed to pay the firm 1 percent of the total refinancing, or $3.2 million. He paid $2 million at the time of closing and agreed to pay the rest from future earnings, the financial adviser said.

Jackson died in 2009 at 50, leaving about $500 million in debt. Since his death, the estate, the owner of interests in songs by the Beatles and other artists, has generated more than $250 million.

John Branca, one of the executors of Jackson’s estate, didn’t immediately return a voice-mail message seeking comment on the suit.

The case is AQ Consulting WLL v. Branca, 1:10-cv-7496, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in U.S. District Court in Manhattan at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.

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