U.K. independent label figurehead Alan McGee has closed his London-based label Poptones.

A statement today (Oct. 4) from McGee and his joint shareholder in Poptones, Stephen King, said that the two companies the pair owned, Poptones and Creation Management, have ceased trading.

The statement said the duo have "agreed terms to end their business relationship with immediate effect". It added that "there are no plans to continue with either company as a going concern at the present time."

McGee launched Poptones in November 1999 shortly before the closure of his Creation label (home to Oasis and Primal Scream) was announced, following his sale of its assets to Sony Music. Poptones was initially floated on London's Alternative Investment Market in August 2000, but in November 2001 its entire staff was laid off. McGee subsequently bought back the money-losing public company for £1 ($1.50) in June 2003 and took it private.

Although Poptones releases were more low-key than Creation, the label issued a considerable number of records, the most successful of which was The Hives' "Your New Favourite Band", a 2001 compilation which licensed songs from the Swedish group's first two albums.

Scottish band Cosmic Rough Riders issued a similar compilation release through Poptones and other acts on the label included King Biscuit Time, featuring Steve Mason from the Beta Band. The label had been less active in recent years, although a single was released by All Traps Set in April this year.

McGee has launched a new company, Alan McGee Management, with a roster of artists that so far includes Dirty Pretty Things, the Charlatans, The Black Affair and Antony Langdon, formerly of Spacehog. McGee this week generated considerable interest in the new album by the Charlatans with the announcement that it will be released as a free download, which he describes as "the future business model."

Creation Management represented U.K. alt-rock quartet the Libertines until their split in 2004 and McGee continues to manage former Libertines member Carl Barat in his new band, Dirty Pretty Things.

Although neither McGee or King has made an official comment, McGee did discuss the move on his MySpace blog. He wrote: "I got bored with Poptones. I loved it on one level but couldn't justify owning artists' copyrights in the new digital age so am now running it down to concentrate on 4 maybe 5 management clients... and hopefully a great new artist we trip over. I believe in quality not quantity and at 47 I am lucky enough to be able to live this ideology out in real life."

McGee still owns Creation Songs, which publishes material by former Creation label acts Oasis, Primal Scream and the Jesus & Mary Chain. Before joining forces with McGee, Stephen King managed acts including Burning Spear, Dina Carrol, the Lighthouse Family, Whitetown and Swing Out Sister.

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