Chicago rock label home to Hawthorne Heights, Atreyu.

Chicago-based rock label Victory Records has renewed its agreement with New York-based RED Distribution. The deal comes after months of industry speculation as to where the sought-after label would land.

Victory's deal with Sony BMG-owned RED was due to expire at the end of the year. Sources indicated that the label was courted by nearly every major distributor, with most pegging Universal Music Group's Fontana as the distributor most likely to sign Victory.

This is the second time this year Victory has renewed with RED. In April, the label signed a short-term deal that extended Victory's relationship with RED through the end of 2005. Since it wasn't a long-term deal, the agreement furthered speculation that Victory would be heading elsewhere.

In a statement, Victory founder Tony Brummel said, "The extension, which came as a surprise to many, occurred late last Friday evening in RED GM Robert Morelli's kitchen on Long Island." Brummel added that Victory "will be announcing new distribution deals with some exciting, up and coming labels, several artist signings and staff additions shortly."

Terms of the new deal were not disclosed. When reached for a comment, RED's Morelli said, "We're thrilled to continue our relationship with Tony and Victory Records, and we look forward to an amazing 2006."

In February, Victory will release the sophomore effort from Hawthorne Heights, "If Only We Were Lonely." The act's debut, "The Silence In Black And White," has sold 589,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.