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Warner Bros, Buys Out Madonna's Label
July 19, 2004

Ending what could have been a nasty legal battle, Warner Music has agreed to buy out Madonna's label, Maverick Records, for approximately $10 million, a fraction of the $200 million or so Madonna had been seeking. Another partner, Ronnie Dashov, will also be paid an undisclosed sum.

As a result, Warner will now own 75 percent of Maverick, while another partner, Guy Oseary, will retain his 25 percent share and continue running the label, which will be housed in Warner's headquarters in Los Angeles. Perhaps more importantly, Warner will keep all the rights to Maverick's back catalog, which includes albums by Maverick artists such as Michelle Branch and Alanis Morissette.

In a statement, Lyor Cohen, who runs Warner's U.S. operations, said: "This new joint venture agreement is clearly a win-win for both WMG and Maverick, and we are pleased that Guy Oseary, one of the most successful A&R executives in the industry, is continuing his relationship with both companies."

The agreement brings to an end a lawsuit filed by Maverick earlier this year which alleged Warner breached its contract by failing to properly promote Maverick artists, and that it used questionable accounting to make the joint venture appear less profitable. As part of the suit, Maverick sought nearly $200 million. Warner dismissed Madonna's claims as baseless, and contended that Maverick had lost $66 million since 1999, when the joint venture was renegotiated.


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