The U.K.'s Association of Independent Music has convened an emergency board meeting this week to clear the air after a second member signalled its intentions to split with the trade group, Billboard.biz has learned.

The session has been called after leading British independent music firm Gut became the second company to declare it would split with AIM over the association's support of pan-European independent labels body Impala's decision to back the Warner Music Group takeover bid for EMI.

Key players from Britain's independent music community will gather this Wednesday in London to discuss the potentially snowballing indies issue, and will vote to decide AIM's position. AIM is a member of Impala.

A representative of AIM has confirmed that Gut, label home to Sparks, Chungking, and Plantlife, has tendered its resignation. Gut founder Guy Holmes declined to comment.

Dance music powerhouse Ministry of Sound became the first AIM member to break ranks when it informed the association last week of its resignation.

"This is a very emotive issue and I completely understand but regret Gut and Ministry's position," says Martin Goldschmidt, managing director of AIM member Cooking Vinyl, who also sits on the association's board.

AIM insiders insist most of its members support the Impala/WMG deal, also announced last week. "We are still absolutely committed to AIM," another AIM board member told Billboard.biz.

Goldschmidt added, "I would not leave AIM over this as I think that AIM's achievements are staggering, and the independent community needs AIM. I really hope Guy and [MoS Group MD] Lohan [Presencer] come along."

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