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U.K. music companies strike Ingenious deal

Investment group takes minority stakes in Cream, 19 Group

LONDON — London-based investment group Ingenious Media has taken significant minority stakes in two British music companies — dance brand Cream and management-production outfit 19 Group.

Move will allow both companies to continue the international growth of their businesses.

Cream started out a decade ago as a nightclub in Liverpool, then became a record label specializing in dance compilations and an organizer of branded live events worldwide.

Company is now targeting the U.S. for its next expansion phase, both as a club brand and as a record label.

The 19 Group was launched two years ago by former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller. Clients include Annie Lennox and S Club 7, whose “Monkees”-style TV show the company also produces.

Ingenious struck the deals through its subsid Ingenious Ventures, a joint venture with UBS Capital which has a £50 million ($71.8 million) fund to invest in media and entertainment companies. Terms of the two deals were not disclosed, but Ingenious typically acquires stakes of 20%-49%.

James Barton, chief exec of Cream, said, “Ingenious recognizes that dance music has now become part of mainstream youth culture, and Cream is one of the leading youth lifestyle brands.”

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