John Lennon and Paul McCartney sell shares in Lenmac Enterprises

April 1966

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Lenmac Enterprises was established in May 1964 to collect royalties for the songs composed by John Lennon
and Paul McCartney from February 1963 to February 1965, which amounted to royalties for 56 songs. The
company was co-owned by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, each having a 40% stake, and Brian Epstein, who had a 20% stake.

In April 1966, it was announced that the three men had sold their shares. John’s and Paul’s shares were bought by Northern Songs, in which John and Paul were also shareholders.

By ultimately “selling” Lenmac Enterprises with its 56 compositions to Northern Songs in April 1966, Lennon & McCartney received £146,000 each (with £73,000 going to NEMS) in exchange for their composers’ share of the royalties. It was considered to be another move in their efforts to benefit from the tax system of the day as these ‘earnings’ were being taxed as Capital Gains, and at only 30%, rather than as income which would have been subject to the highest rates of income tax. With their earnings taking them into the surtax bracket, Lennon & McCartney would have been subject to a tax rate of over 90% on these monies.

From “Northern Songs: The True Story of the Beatles Song Publishing Empire” by Brian Southall and Rupert Perry

Lennon & McCartney Sell Shares In Northern’s Agency

LONDON—Songwriting Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney have sold their 80% interest in Lenmac Enterprises, the company that collects composers’ royalties for their songs. They received £146,000 ($408,800) apiece.

The duo’s interest in Lenmac went to Lenmac’s sister company, Northern Songs, in which each one has a share holding worth £550,000 ($1,540,000).

The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein recently sold his 20% interest in Lenmac for £73,000 ($204,400).

Northern publishes most of the Beatles songs. Lennon and McCartney each own about 30% of the pubbery’s equity.

From Cashbox – April 16, 1966
From Cashbox – April 16, 1966

Last updated on May 1, 2024

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