Neverland escapes foreclosure hook
Los Angeles company steps into to take over Michael Jackson's loans
Pop singer Michael Jackson escaped foreclosure on his Neverland Ranch in California on Sunday after real estate investment firm Colony Capital bought his loan.
The 1,100-hectare ranch was set to be auctioned May 14 by Fortress Investment Group, a New York-based equity group that held a loan on the property.
Jackson had defaulted on several payments on the loan, estimated at $23.5 million US.
The former king of pop has been staving off bankruptcy and loss of his properties since his child molestation trial in 2005.
He was acquitted on the charges, but has had to sell off a portion of his music publishing catalogue, which included Beatles songs, to help him pay his debts.
Colony, based in Los Angeles, said it is negotiating repayment terms with Jackson.
Colony founder Tom Barrack Jr. issued a statement saying the firm is speaking with Jackson "with regard to the ranch and other matters."
Jackson issued a statement saying he was "pleased with recent developments involving Neverland" that would allow him to "focus on the future."
The estate in Santa Barbara County had a ferris wheel, a roller-coaster, game arcades and a zoo with elephants, giraffes and orangutans.
However, it reportedly fell into disrepair after Jackson left the U.S. to live in Bahrain.