Old Projects IV.: Jackson International LLC

One of the most complex business ventures MJ ever took part was "Jackson International LLC" (JI).

JI has been set up both in Delaware (on August 14th, 1998) and California (on December 12th, 1998). The sole owner of the company was MJ himself, the first known president was Myung Ho Lee, a Korean lawyer with US education. MJ and Lee started to work together in 1997, the later helped out the star with financial advises. The two enganged into other business ventures, that might led to set up JI. The company also hired Lee's relatives, like Soyoung Lee as a lawyer.
MJ fired Lee on the Summer of 2001 and re-hired him right after his 30th Anniversary concerts in New York. The two ended up on court in 2002 with Lee claiming MJ didn't pay him a $21 million fee for his services. The case has been settled in mid 2003, the details are unknown.

on April 5th, 1999 MJ announced an investment into Tickets.com Inc. He partnered with other companies through JI to back the $30 million founds. Right after this investment Ticket.com's losses started to grow. With dozens of aquisitions in the third quarter of 1999 it exceeded $50 million.
It's hard to find any further information on MJ's involvement on the project. Later SEC filings doesn't show any participation on his side. As well the company has been sold to Major League Baseball in 2005. Most likely MJ lost or sold his shares over the years.

I have been asked to cover MJ's involvement with the Sun International Hotels. In short terms, unfortunately MJ never owned any pieces of the hotel.
In 1998 MJ travelled to South-Africa on numerous occasions, even approached president Nelson Mandela for different business deals. In March, 1999 it has been revealed that a consortium led by MJ through JI might buy 27% of Sun International's stakes in South-Africa. Those stakes were hold by North West Development Corporation and had to sell them no later than May 10, 1999.
Altough it was big silent after the above mentioned deadline, North West Development Corporation did not sell it's stakes to anyone until September, 2003 when Kersaf Investments bought them. The other major stake holder at the time was Investec Asset Management who's involvement with MJ was never a question. According to Sun International's own website it's investors does not include MJ neither any of the known investment companies he was ever involved.
So there is a very slight chance for MJ to own anything in Sun International. Considering the fact that his businesses has been under scrunity over the past 10 years for various legal matters and no such revelation came out, I would say so that this is impossible.

On July 1st, 2000 it's been reported that MJ invested $2 million into HollywoodTicket.com through his JI company. Days later a "coming soon" text has been changed to an extensive intro and some other information appeared on the website. The service was designed to give some space for young movie artists, as well to give the fans a chance to get closer to their idols.
No other updates arised around this project. Other than the website got blank in early 2001 and that the managers of the project sued MJ for alleged unpaid bills. Both the website and the company behind has been shut down in January, 2003.

As an interesting fact, MJ owned the domain "mjco.com" for JI back then.

What makes the whole story interesting is that JI is still active both in California and Delaware managed by Estate lawyer Zia Modabber. It means that despite the many unfortunate business ventures one or the other might still work and produce money for the Estate...


Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie.

Do you know the name of the fan who bought MJ history logo?

Who have copyrights on the MJ History logo?


LeslieMJHu said...


I just posted an article on your question. ;)