Despite reports that beleaguered pop star Michael Jackson may attempt to securitize his song catalog in a "Bowie Bond" like offering in last week's New York Daily News, sources see the culmination of such an offering unlikely. Citing an over-leveraging of the catalog, as well as the lengthy process to complete such an offering, both a rating and a buyer would be difficult to obtain.
The report cited Jackson's involvement with music mogul Charles Koppelman, the former EMI chief who later co-founded CAK Entertainment, formerly affiliated with UCC Capital. The report added that Koppelman, who denied in the report that Jackson's future royalties were being sold in any way, was integral in the 1997 Bowie Bond securitization.
"But a well-placed industry source says Jackson is listening to offers from record companies and private investors," the Daily News reported last Tuesday.
"Koppelman was never involved with the Bowie deal for a second," said Bowie Bond pioneer and Pullman Group LLC founder David Pullman. "We all know these deals take months and the issue for Michael's catalogue has a greater equity value than he could raise on a cash flow basis, plus he'd have to pay taxes, so it wouldn't meet his immediate cash needs - meaning he needs money yesterday not months from now."
Moody's Investors Service Managing Director, Jay Eisbruck, who initially rated the Bowie Bonds added, that while nothing had been brought to the rating agency, "It might be difficult for an offering like that to obtain a rating."
"That would need significant enhancement, and most assets would be needed for enhancement," added Eisbruck. "It depends on the cash flow needs at the time, but [Michael Jackson] couldn't get full cash value of the asses with an ABS."
The N.Y. Times reported last week that Jackson missed a payment on a $70 million loan from Bank of America N.A. due Feb. 17 and that his total indebtedness stood at $590 million. His publishing catalog - including songs from the highest selling record of all time, Thriller (52 million copies worldwide, 26 million in the U.S.) - is valued at an estimated $75 to $90 million, with some reports estimating as much as $140 million.