Group closed its urban division in Feb.

Mathew Knowles’ Music World Entertainment (MWE) and Music World Music record label have apparently ended their partnership with the Sanctuary Group. Knowles, who rose to prominence as the manager of Destiny’s Child, could not be reached for immediate comment.

However, according to a press release issued today (March 10), Knowles said he regains ownership of both companies. And once final paperwork is completed later this month, details of his future plans will be revealed.

In a statement, London-based Sanctuary Group said, "As we stated in our prospectus issued on Feb. 21, we have been discussing the future involvement of Mathew Knowles within the Sanctuary Group and those discussions continue. We have nothing further to add."

The apparent dissolution of Knowles’ affiliation with Sanctuary comes as no surprise. It was reported last month (Billboard, Feb. 11) that Sanctuary had shuttered its urban division as the result of “substantial losses” and that Knowles would stay on with the company as an artist manager. At that time, Sanctuary founder Andy Taylor said, “Mathew had overall responsibility for the urban division, but that doesn’t mean we should blame Mathew.” Also raising speculation that Sanctuary would soon be severing its urban ties was its firing of three urban managers last November (Billboard, Nov. 26, 2005).

Sanctuary entered the urban arena in 2003 by acquiring founder/CEO Knowles’ Houston-based MWE management firm in a $10 million deal funded through a mix of cash and stock. Concurrently, Knowles was tapped to serve as president of Sanctuary’s new urban and gospel division encompassing a label, a music publishing unit and a U.S. urban touring agency. The label was distributed in the United States by BMG Distribution.