LOS ANGELES - Michael Jackson restructured his finances with the help of Sony Corp., which shares ownership of his valuable music catalog of Beatles hits, Jackson attorneys said Thursday in a statement.
No terms of the deal or the state of Jackson's finances, long believed to be troubled, were disclosed in a brief press release issued from Bahrain, where the pop star has been living since being acquitted of child molestation last year in California.
Earlier published reports said Jackson was negotiating a $325 million debt refinancing plan that would save him from bankruptcy but deprive him of part of his share of the catalog.
Jackson "has restructured his finances with the assistance of Sony Corporation of America," said the statement issued by Grahame Nelson of Qays H. Zubi Attorneys & Legal Consultants, who said he was speaking for Jackson.
"Following negotiations with several leading financial institutions, Mr. Jackson has concluded refinancing with affiliates of Fortress Investment Group, the lender that currently holds secured debts that were previously held by Bank of America," the statement said.
Qays H. Zubi Attorneys & Legal Consultants was part of an advisory team that included Bahrain-based financial adviser Ahmed Al Khan, it said.
Jackson's U.S. spokeswoman, Raymone K. Bain, said Qays Zubi is an adviser to Jackson but she could not confirm the contents of the news release issued from Bahrain.
A spokeswoman for Sony ATV declined to comment Thursday. Fortress and Nelson did not return calls from The Associated Press after business hours.
The music catalog that Jackson co-owns, known as Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, includes 200 Beatles hits and is thought to be worth $1 billion.
The deal ultimately would require Jackson to sell half of his 50 percent share in the catalog to Sony, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported Thursday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the negotiations.
Jackson acquired the catalog in 1985 for $47.5 million but sold half of it to Sony when he confronted other financial problems.
Financial experts who testified at Jackson's trial said the pop star was on the brink of bankruptcy and would likely be forced to sell his interest in the catalog. Jackson recently had to shutter his elaborate Neverland ranch in Santa Ynez because of unpaid salaries and insurance fees.