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Warner Music buys share of Maverick

Label will continue to operate as stand-alone

HOLLYWOOD — Maverick Records and Warner Music Group have extended and restructured their joint venture, dropping their lawsuits and keeping Guy Oseary atop the imprint.

WMG will purchase the separate interests in the label held by Madonna and Ronnie Dashev, Maverick’s chief operating officer, giving WMG a majority ownership stake in the venture.

Maverick, formed in 1992 by Madonna and Oseary with Warner Music, was scheduled to dissolve in December, and Warner had the right to purchase 60% of the company. Investors in the label would have had to reimburse Warners for $92.5 million in losses, loans and fees to have an option to buy Warner Music’s 40% of the label.

Maverick will continue to operate as a stand-alone label. Under the agreement, however, it will place greater emphasis on signing and developing artists and will have the ability to draw on the parent company’s resources.

“This new joint venture agreement is clearly a win-win for both WMG and Maverick,” said Lyor Cohen, WMG chairman and CEO of U.S. recorded music.

Maverick’s roster includes Alanis Morissette, Michelle Branch, the Prodigy, the Deftones and Story of the Year.

In March, Maverick officials filed suit in state court in Los Angeles alleging Warner Music didn’t adequately fund the label. In a countersuit, Warner Music rejected that claim, citing Maverick’s $64.2 million in losses over the last six years.

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