Financially-troubled British independent music firm Sanctuary has sold its stake in Air Edel for almost half a million pounds.

In a statement issued this morning to the London Stock Exchange, Sanctuary said it had "disposed of its interests in Air Edel Associates Limited and Air Edel Recording Studios Limited (and certain associated assets) to Cutting Edge Music," a British music supervision and music publishing firm.

The £497,958 ($988,000) cash sum is payable over 18 months from completion of the transaction. Stock in Sanctuary was unchanged in morning trading at 16 pence per share.

In a separate statement, Cutting Edge MD Phil Hope commented, "Following our recent addition of Liz Gallacher Music Supervision, this acquisition brings us closer to achieving our goal of becoming the pre-eminent provider of music to picture."

Rodford added, "Together with Cutting Edge's backing, enthusiasm and knowledge of the business, I believe that we will be able to offer an unparalleled service to our composers and our clients on a worldwide basis."

Air Edel was founded in 1969 by Beatles producer George Martin and his business partner Herman Edel. The company, which has offices in L.A. and central London and is run by managing director Maggie Rodford, boasts a composer roster which includes Patrick Doyle ("Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"), Dario Marianelli ("Pride and Prejudice") and Christian Henson ("Chasing Liberty").

Sanctuary had bought the business - which comprises music supervision, composer representation, music publishing and a recording studio - from Chrysalis Group back in 2002, for £590,458 ($1.17 million).

Sanctuary recently announced it was the target of a takeover approach. Sources close to the company say Universal Music is circling.

Earlier this year, the London-based firm said was pushing ahead with a program of strategic disposals, including the sale of its stake in the independent Rough Trade label.

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