Lennon sells part of stake in Beatles songs


Julian Lennon sold a share of his financial stake in Beatles songs co-written by his late father to a New York music publishing firm in a deal announced Friday.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Primary Wave Music Publishing said its acquisition represented a significant share of Julian Lennon's economic interest in the songs.

"I felt it was the appropriate time to take on a partner for both my interest in my father's legendary music and for my future music endeavors," Julian Lennon, 44, said in a statement.

The deal does not apply to any of John Lennon's solo compositions.

John Lennon and partner Paul McCartney wrote most of the Beatles' biggest hits, among them "Hey Jude," "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "All You Need Is Love."

Songwriters and their music publisher share royalties when a song is licensed for use in a film, television commercial or other use.

Primary Wave's deal essentially gives the firm a cut of Julian Lennon's share of the royalties.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a joint venture between Sony Corp. and Michael Jackson, owns the publishing rights for the Beatles catalog. Britain's EMI Group PLC owns the rights to the legendary group's master recordings.

As part of the deal with Julian Lennon, Primary Wave will help the singer market his next album, said Larry Mestel, the firm's chief executive.

Julian Lennon is the son of John Lennon and his first wife, Cynthia. He has released five albums during his career, his most recent being 1998's "Photograph Smile."

Last year, Primary Wave acquired 25% of the song catalog of grunge band Nirvana from singer Kurt Cobain's widow, Courtney Love.