Billboard.biz can reveal that Duran Duran is in the final stages of negotiations with Epic Records, according to sources. For several months, reports have surfaced that Epic parent Sony Music was a le

Billboard.biz can reveal that Duran Duran is in the final stages of negotiations with Epic Records, according to sources. For several months, reports have surfaced that Epic parent Sony Music was a leading contender in signing Duran Duran, whose original lineup reunited in 2001 and embarked on a world tour last year.

Duran Duran spent most of its career on EMI/Capitol Records, which released new studio albums from the group from 1981 to 1997. The band parted ways with EMI/Capitol and released "Pop Trash" in 2000. Hollywood Records issued "Pop Trash" in the U.S., while various other labels released the album elsewhere. Since leaving Hollywood, the act has been a free agent.

The original five members of Duran Duran began recording new material 2002, and stories soon began to surface that Sony Music and the Universal Music Group were courting the band. A new album is due later this year.

The act recorded several new songs in 2002 with producer Nile Rodgers, but sources say that the producer and the band had creative differences and that those songs will probably not be released. Last year, lead singer Simon LeBon told Billboard.com that Duran Duran was now self-producing its new material.

A Duran Duran spokeswoman denies that the band has signed a deal with Epic, but hinted that the group is planning a major announcement within the coming weeks. Epic representatives had no comment.

On May 4, EMI/Capitol will reissue on DVD Duran Duran's 1984 tour documentary "Sing Blue Silver" and 1985 concert film "Arena." The label will also release a CD version of "Arena," with bonus tracks.

The most recent leg of Duran Duran's world tour has been in the U.K., where the band is scheduled to play at London's Wembley Arena on Friday (April 30) and Saturday (May 1). According to the group's official Web site (duranduran.com), these two concerts will be filmed for an upcoming TV special and DVD. The TV network and release dates are to be determined.