Alan McGee, the veteran British label chief who discovered Oasis, is revitalizing his indie label Poptones through a marketing and distribution deal with Mercury Records. Poptones' previous distributo

Alan McGee, the veteran British label chief who discovered Oasis, is revitalizing his indie label Poptones through a marketing and distribution deal with Mercury Records. Poptones' previous distributor, Pinnacle, retains an option to handle singles on a case-by-case basis.

McGee will take an office in the Mercury A&R department, in addition to his current Poptones headquarters in West London. According to a spokesperson, the first signing under the new agreement is "imminent."

McGee floated Poptones on the London stock exchange in 2000. Despite some commercial success with Scottish guitar band Cosmic Rough Riders and Swedish rockers the Hives (now signed to Polydor), the label failed to swing into profit and was drastically pared back. McGee bought the label back last June for just £1 ($1.80); it has been effectively dormant since then.

In a statement, Universal Music U.K. chairman Lucian Grainge says, "The list of artists Alan has been involved with is sensational. He has an anarchic spirit which will attract anarchic, left-field rock'n'roll bands to Mercury. We all like those kind of bands."

Mercury U.K. managing director Greg Castell adds: "Alan has an innate skill for picking bands that reflect the mood of the country and a great understanding of how to nurture new bands."

Prior to founding Poptones, McGee launched Creation Records in 1983, signing a string of successful acts such as Oasis, Primal Scream and the Jesus & Mary Chain. In November 1999, he closed that label and sold the remaining assets to Sony Music for £17 million ($24 million).