Murdoch mushrooming

Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd. has bought 50% of Melbourne-based Mushroom Records, Australia’s largest independent record label.

The sale price was not disclosed but industry sources are placing a value of $ A22 million ($ 14.75 million) on the deal.

Mushroom founder Michael Gudinski said the company had gross sales of more than $ 34 million in fiscal 1992-93.

Gudinski said the acquisition of an interest by News and the injection of new capital would propel the 21-year-old company “into becoming the largest independent record company in the world.” He said that an office in London was skedded to open later this month and that a “multimillion-dollar” European deal was pending.

News Ltd.’s wholly owned Festival Records has distributed Mushroom product for the past 20 years.

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