Death Row Sale On Hold
October 9, 2007 at 5:23 AM (PT)
The sale of DEATH ROW RECORDS is being held up because prospective buyers are unclear as to what assets the bankrupt label founded by MARION "SUGE" KNIGHT still holds, THE NEW YORK POST reports. Two sources involved in the process confirmed that DEATH ROW's Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings are at a point where a stalking-horse bidder is being sought to begin the sale process.
But both sources added that outstanding claims by rapper DR. DRE over royalty payments related to his album "The Chronic," and by AFENI SHAKUR, the mother of the late TUPAC SHAKUR, over who owns rights to unreleased works by the slain rapper, are looming over the auction.
"What's really there for sale, what assets do they have, no one knows for sure," said one source.
According to RON LEBOW, an attorney from law firm KAYE SCHOLER, which is representing DEATH ROW bankruptcy trustee R. TODD NEILSON, the defunct label controls the rights to roughly 10,000 master tracks. LEBOW added that NEILSON and AFENI SHAKUR are in discussions regarding her claim and hope to reach an agreement shortly.
Sources estimate the once influential label will fetch less than $20 million on net revenue of roughly $2 million. Of the buyers, sources said the two best positioned to scoop up DEATH ROW are music publisher EVERGREEN COPYRIGHTS and independent KOCH RECORDS.
In MAY, EVERGREEN, which has financial backing from LEHMAN BROTHERS' private equity arm, bought the writer's share of TUPAC's catalog -- UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP still owns TUPAC's publishing rights and retains authority for licensing it commercially.