News Corp. picks up Mushroom

Gudinski sells remaining 50% of record group

SYDNEY — News Corp. is stepping up its commitment to the music business after buying out the remaining 50% of Australia’s Mushroom Records Group from its founder and exec chairman Michael Gudinski.

Announcing the deal, James Murdoch, News Corp. vice president of music, said Mushroom and News’ Australian label, Festival Records, would work together to further develop and promote Australian recording artists at home and internationally.

Mushroom’s talent roster includes Kylie Minogue, Jimmy Barnes and Cold Chisel, Leonardo’s Bride, Kate Ceberano, Paul Kelly and U.S. band Garbage.

James Murdoch said Gudinski would remain as non-exec chairman of Mushroom, which will retain its identity and brand as a fully-owned subsid of News Ltd., the Australian holding company of News Corp.

“Now as a full member of the News Corp. group, and working alongside Festival, Mushroom will play a significant role in our worldwide music strategy,” James Murdoch said.

News bought 50% of Mushroom from Gudinski seven years ago. Gudinski launched Mushroom 25 years ago and quickly parlayed it to Australia’s leading indie label.

Mushroom managing director Warren Costello will continue to be responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations and will now report to Festival Group chairman Roger Grierson.

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