August 13, 2009 / 6:20 PM / 10 years ago

Jackson estate expected to balloon by $200 million

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Album sales, a movie deal and other projects could boost Michael Jackson’s estate by $200 million before the end of this year, the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday.

A worker checks freshly printed covers of Michael Jackson's 'The Essential' CD in the Austrian 'ArtPress' factory in Hoefen July 3, 2009. REUTERS/ Dominic Ebenbichler

And the “King of Pop’s” estate is expected to generate at least $50 million in annual revenue, John Branca, one of the executors of Jackson’s estate and his former lawyer, told the newspaper in an interview.

Jackson’s album sales have surged following his death in June and the singer has dozens of unreleased songs, some of which executors believe could be released in album form.

Branca said record sales and other revenue could generate $100 million for the estate by the end of 2009. A movie based on the singer’s last rehearsals, which is expected to be released in October, and other business deals will generate another $100 million in the same timeframe, Branca said.

Jackson left about $400 million in debts when he died of cardiac arrest on June 25, the newspaper said. But his assets, including partial ownership of the Sony/ATV music catalog and many songs by The Beatles, outweigh his debts by at least $200 million.

Branca said there were no plans to part with the catalog. “We’re definitely not selling it,” he told the LA Times.

On Monday, a Los Angeles judge is expected to rule on a planned merchandising deal with Bravado International Group and plans for a traveling exhibition of Jackson memorabilia.

The judge must approve the deals because Jackson’s 2002 will is the subject of probate proceedings, which ensure creditors are paid and assets are properly administered.

A reprint of Jackson’s 1988 autobiography “Moonwalk” and a glossy 400-page photo book about his life and career have already been authorized.

Jackson left his money to a trust that benefits his mother, Katherine, his three children and charities.

Almost two months after Jackson’s death, police are continuing an investigation into possible criminal responsibility.

The homes and offices of Jackson’s personal doctor, Conrad Murray, have been raided twice by police probing the singer’s reported use of powerful anesthetics to help him sleep.

The LA Times, quoting unidentified sources close to the investigation, said on Thursday that Murray legally acquired an anesthetic to treat Jackson’s insomnia.

But the newspaper said Murray had left the singer alone under its influence to make telephone calls on the morning that he died.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Jill Serjeant

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