Santa Brings SOS $13 Million In Royalties

December 3, 2014       Mark Hrywna      

SOS Children’s Villages-USA is now in the music business – sort of. The Washington, D.C.-based charity dedicated to supporting orphaned and abandoned children received a $13-million gift from the Trust of Harry and Carol Goodman, part of which came in the form of partial stock ownership in three subsidiaries of a music company.

Harry Goodman, the brother of jazz legend Benny Goodman, founded Regent Music Corporation, now part of the music publishing and licensing company, Sunflower Entertainment Group (SEG). The SEG catalog includes music from artists such as Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and The Rolling Stones. Among the songs in the company’s catalogs that the charity now co-owns are “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” “Run Rudolph Run,” and “Do You Hear What I Hear.”

As part of the trust, SOS Children’s Village-USA will receive a cash gift and partial stock ownership of SEG subsidiaries, Regent Music Corporation, Jewel Music Publishing, Inc., and Sunflower Music, Inc. Of the $13 million, $3 million has been assigned to the value of the music companies, which are expected to provide quarterly distributions, including royalty revenues, totaling about $400,000 for 2014. SOS is evaluating offers to sell the stock.

About $3.6 million was recognized in 2013 and includes the value of the music companies. A final cash distribution may be received and recorded next year, according to a spokeswoman, and an estimate of the final distribution is included in the current overall total.

SOS started meeting with the trust a year ago and in late 2013 received an initial cash distribution of about $613,000, along with the music stock. Final approval from New York state courts came in August, with an announcement of the gift released on Nov. 17.

SOS has received $7.8 million from the trust, and about $337,000 of distributions. There is a balance of the trust yet to be processed, with an expected distribution to be declared for the fourth quarter.

Donations from bequests often fluctuate year to year for charities and often are complex, taking years to process the full dispersal. SOS typically receives about $150,000 to $250,000 in bequests annually. Not including the Goodman gift, the organization received $615,000 this year from about a half-dozen bequests but $100,000 in 2013 from about a dozen bequests.