Simon Cowell has signed a $500 million deal with Sony.

The music mogul's new two-year contract with the entertainment giants will see him rake in the staggering sum - expected to tip his fortunes close to the $1 billion mark - as he launches Syco TV to produce and sell the formats for his 'X Factor' and '... Got Talent' franchises.

Simon - who also heads up record label Syco and is expected to sign a new £10 million deal with UK TV network ITV - said: "I have had a fantastic relationship with Sony for many years and I'm delighted we are launching this venture together."

A source added: "He is truly in the driving seat. He felt like an employee before, but now he has some real ownership and is thrilled to be side by side with Sony."

The first project for Simon's new company will be the launch of the US version of 'The X Factor' though the 50-year-old star has laughed off speculation that former Spice Girls star Victoria Beckham will be the first person he signs up to feature on the judging panel.

He said: "That is not going to happen. Absolutely not. Not because I don't like her. It's just not going to happen."

Despite speculation about who will appear alongside him in choosing the finalists, Simon insisted he isn't going to rush into any decisions.

He explained to OK! magazine: "In the UK we have 250,000 applicants every year and because there's no upper-age limit and groups are allowed to enter, you get a lot of applications.

"So we gave ourselves time to set up the show in 2011, which also gives us some time to work out who the judging panel is going to be. I don't want to make any commitments yet."

'The X Factor' is broadcast in 17 countries, while '... Got Talent' is screened in 27.