Michael Jackson’s Beatle stake at risk

The singer could lose the band’s back catalogue

Michael Jackson’s 50% stake in The Beatles‘ back catalogue is at risk if he fails to meet a loan repayment deadline.

The singer is imminently required to repay $200m (£113m), but his lawyers are in talks to prevent him defaulting on loans secured by his share in the songs.

Brent Ayscough, Jackson’s lawyer, said that he wanted Fortress Investment Group to give the star more time to repay.

The publishing rights were bought by Jackson for $48m (£27m) in 1985, and they are now valued at $500m (£283m).

According to BBC News, the 4,000 song catalogue contains more than 200 Beatle tracks and is jointly owned by the singer and Sony.

Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ and works by Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell are also included.

Jackson’s loans are due to be repaid today (December 20) and if he defaults, New York equity fund Fortress Investment Group would be able to seize his 50% stake.

According to prosecution testimony heard during his child molestation trial earlier in the year, Jackson has borrowed heavily against his assets.

Gordon Auchincloss, assistant district attorney, described the star in court as a “spendaholic” who had incurred debts of $300m (£170m) and faced liabilities of $400m (£227m) by the end of this year.

Speaking yesterday (December 19), Ayscough said: “There is no doomsday, or anything like that. Nothing’s going to happen tomorrow. At the moment people are still talking.”