Leading Japanese independent music group Avex plans to introduce a holding-company structure in order to establish a clear distinction between the company's corporate and creative functions.

Leading Japanese independent music group Avex plans to introduce a holding-company structure in order to establish a clear distinction between the company's corporate and creative functions.

If Avex's shareholders grant their approval at its June 27 annual meeting, the company will be divided into two entities starting Oct. 1. Group core company Avex Inc. will be renamed Avex Group Holdings Inc. and will oversee all of the Avex group's operations, including its various subsidiaries. A new company, to be called Avex Inc., will concentrate on the record business.

"Avex Inc. will function as a record production company, while the holding company will handle management, systems and corporate matters," explains Avex chairman/CEO Tom Yoda, who will be chairman/CEO of both the holding company and the new, "music-only" Avex Inc. Shinji Hayashi, managing director of the previous incarnation of Avex Inc, will serve as president of Avex Inc. "It's going to be a more streamlined operation," says Yoda.

In other news, former Warner Music Japan chairman/CEO Hiroshi Inagaki will join Avex this week as a special adviser. Yoda explains that Inagaki will serve as his "right-hand man" in helping Avex plan its corporate strategy in the entertainment business.

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