Two Halves of Prince Estate Ordered to Agree on Management Deal
Prince’s estate will not be distributed among its owners until a management deal has been agreed between the two parties, a judge ruled this week.
The long-running dispute over the value of the artist’s assets was recently settled. However, it didn’t resolve the question of how his legacy – including unreleased music, biopic rights and other potentially marketable assets – should be managed.
Three of Prince’s relatives retained their interest in his $156.4 million estate, while three others sold theirs to Primary Wave. The corporation had suggested that a holding company could be set up, but in a Minnesota court, Judge Kevin Eide said he would not force anyone to “contribute their share to a business entity against their wishes.” He added that "the heirs have waited for almost six years to have some control over how the Prince estate moves forward. The court will not, by choice, order that their share of the estate be turned over to a single holding company. ... It would not be equitable for one heir to withhold their ascent to business opportunities that bind the other Heirs or diminish the value of Estate assets. The court will require that the management structure be in place before distribution."
Both sides accepted the ruling cautiously. "Primary Wave has always felt it important to integrate all aspects of Prince’s business and assets because creatively, all assets interplay," the corporation told Variety. "The ruling requires an appropriate management agreement among all parties, which we wholeheartedly support. We continue to look forward to working with all interested parties to expand and preserve Prince’s legacy.”
A representative for the relatives who retained their shares said, “To those who were close to Prince, we know he represented not just music but also independence and freedom. In fact, this is the 25th anniversary of Emancipation. … Our SNJLC group represents Prince’s legacy; we have worked hard to help close the Estate, and we look forward to soon managing the estate with all stakeholders to preserve his true legacy.”