Universal Music International has struck an exclusive pact to release compilations from British dance music specialist Ministry of Sound in various markets.

Universal Music International has struck an exclusive pact to release compilations from British dance music specialist Ministry of Sound in various markets.

Under the pact, UMI will market and distribute MoS-branded compilations in France, Belgium, Scandinavia, Greece, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

The first album to be issued under the pact, "The Annual 2005," will be released on an unspecified date before Christmas. Other leading MoS compilation series -- such as "Clubbers Guide," "The Chillout Session" and "Trance Nation" -- will also be covered under the agreement.

MoS managing director Lohan Presencer says the deal completes a crucial component to the company's international ambitions. "In combination with our existing branded compilations partners in North America, Australia, Germany, Italy, South Africa, the Middle East, Portugal and Spain, this deal now gives us a truly global release plan for our branded albums and takes the international profile of the MoS brand to a new level of awareness."

Figures published in the British Phonographic Industry's 2004 Statistical Handbook highlight MoS' status as a key player in the U.K. compilation albums market. MoS had a 7.7% share of the market last year, topped only by majors Universal Music, EMI and Warner Music.