Taipei-based Rock Records, Greater China's biggest independent label, is in negotiations to sell off a large percentage to an undisclosed investor, according to Sam Duann, CEO of parent Rock Music Group.

Duann, who co-founded Rock Records in 1980 with his brother Johnny, tells Billboard the investor is interested in buying a 40%-60% stake.

However, piracy and competition from global music companies have proved challenging for Taiwanese labels. "It's very difficult for a record company to make a deal anywhere in the world these days," says Duann.

Rock Records has released albums by leading local artists such as Wu Bai, Tarcy Su and Bobby Chen. Its releases are distributed by Universal Music Southeast Asia.

Duann confirms that Rock Records is planning an initial public offering of Rock Mobile Corp. next year. Rock Mobile, which has a partnership with China Mobile, allows subscribers in China and Taiwan to download ringback tones and master ringtiones as well as stream entire tracks.

Rock Records holds a 15% stake in Rock Mobile Corp. Other investors include Acer, Inc., Lenovo Group Ltd. and Siemens AG. "The IPO will probably happen in the second quarter," says Duann.