Mushroom Group chairman Michael Gudinski has bought a 50% stake in Sydney independent Ivy League Records for an undisclosed sum. The move is part of Gudinski's strategy to expand his holding in Austra

Mushroom Group chairman Michael Gudinski has bought a 50% stake in Sydney independent Ivy League Records for an undisclosed sum. The move is part of Gudinski's strategy to expand his holding in Australian and international indies.

Ivy League was jointly set up in 1997 by Pete Lusty, Andy Cassell and Andy Kelly.

Going forward, the founders remain co-directors and they will provide all A&R for the label via their offices in Sydney, London, New York and Los Angeles. The three executives also run artist management firm Winterman & Goldstein, which represents such acts as Jet, the Vines and the Sleepy Jackson.

Chris Maund, GM of Gudinski's Slanted Recordings, is named GM of Ivy League. Kym-Louise Baron remains Ivy League's label manager.

Gudinski became involved with Ivy League in 2004, through a deal to administer its publishing through his company Mushroom Music and by distributing the label through his Liberation imprint.

"I love working with these guys," says Gudinski. "They're savvy, they have cutting edge tastes, and are passionate about Australian music. With A&R teams like them, and with other teams I've got with my other labels, we could become one of the biggest of the new breed of independent labels."

One of its signings, Youth Group, is at No. 2 this week on the ARIA singles chart with "Forever Young." The record is set for U.K. and European release through Epitaph.

Another of the label's signings, singer songwriter Josh Pyke, is receiving crossover radio airplay for his album "Feeding The Wolves."

Pyke is poised to sign a significant U.K. deal, Gudinski tells Billboard.biz.

Gudinski set up Mushroom Records in 1972 as a 20-year old, and sold it to News Corp in 1998. Mushroom Records is now owned by Warner Music Australia, and used as its home for its new domestic signings.

He has 12 labels under the Mushroom Group umbrella, which include Liberation, Slanted Recordings, Liberation Blue and Illusive Sounds.