The Prince Estate Court Battle finally ends, six years later

A Minnesota judge on Monday signed off on an agreement that will finally end the long court battle Prince‘s $156 million estate, more than six years after the iconic rocker died intestate.

The deal, unveiled at a hearing Friday, clears the way for the payout of Prince’s assets, including $6 million in cash and many times that in music rights and other intangible assets. They will be divided between three heirs and their families, their advisers and Primary Wave – which owns about half of the estate.

Prince died of a fentanyl overdose in April 2016 at the age of 57. Although legendary for his tight control over his intellectual property rights, the iconic artist died without a will, triggering a complex process known as probate, in which courts decide how must distribute the estate of a deceased person.

Because Prince died without children or a spouse, his six half-siblings were named legal heirs. Three have since sold all or most of their shares to Primary Wave; three others have retained their share. Advisors L. Londell McMillan and Charles Spicer, who is in partnership with the three heirs who declined to sell, also controls an undisclosed stake. A bank, Comerica Bank & Trust, was appointed as a court-appointed administrator to handle the estate’s affairs while the probate was pending.

After several years of messy bickering among these parties, the final major hurdle was cleared in January with when the heirs reached an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service to set a final tax assessment of $156 million. Then in February, the judge oversees the case approved a basic structure for how the assets would be divided between the heirs and Primary Wave.

With those issues out of the way, all that remained was to convert the Prince’s holdings into joint-stock companies – a step taken to limit the estate’s tax exposure – and to create a so-called management plan for how the two camps of heirs would operate. together to manage music and other jointly owned assets.

Those tasks apparently completed, Friday’s deal saw Prince’s cash and various holding companies divided equally between a holding company called Prince Legacy LLC (the heirs plus McMillan and Spicer and managed by McMillan’s NorthStar Group) and Prince Oat Holdings LLC (Primary Wave). It also cleared a path for Comerica to be dismissed as administrator after certain closing tasks are completed.

In a statement to BillboardA representative for Primary Wave said the company was “extremely pleased that the process of closing the Prince Estate has now been completed.”

“Prince was an iconic superstar and this transfer out of the court’s jurisdiction puts professional, capable management in place,” Primary Wave said. “When we announced last year our acquisition of the additional anticipated interests in the estate, bringing our ownership to 50%, our goal was to protect and grow Prince’s incomparable legacy. With the distribution of estate assets, we look forward to a strong and productive Cooperation.”

In their own statement, McMillan said he and his partners were “relieved and excited to finally be done with the probate system and bankers who don’t know the music business and didn’t know Prince” and looked forward to “implementing things the way Prince did.” “

“I represented Prince for over 13 years and we led with innovation to reform the music industry – we hope to do the same with his amazing assets and catalog, from his music, film content, exhibitions, merchandise, Paisly Park events, branded merchandise and more ,” McMillan said in an email. β€œIt’s a historic and very exciting time. Prince is almost free to rest now…”

Read the entire order here:

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