Powerhouse Australian independent music group Shock has closed three of its companies, including its music publishing arm.

Citing the global financial crisis, prolonged tough trading conditions and ever-changing consumer behavior, the Melbourne-based firm has placed its Shock Music Publishing arm into voluntary liquidation, with effect from June 7. Shock Publishing GM Clive Hodson is among the staff let go.

Also, Shock's One Stop Entertainment and Shock Exports.com units have been placed into voluntary administration, with effect from June 8.

Petr Vrsecky and Stirling Horne of Lawler Draper Dillon have been appointed administrators of the three companies, which Shock describe as "non-core." Its unclear how many jobs are affected by the development; Vrsecky and Horne could not be reached for comment.

In a statement, the multi-faceted music and entertainment company says, "It is business as usual for our core Shock Entertainment businesses, and we will continue in our endeavor to maintain and enhance Shock Entertainment's position as the leading independent label and distributor of music and home video in Australia and New Zealand."

Shock reaffirms that its existing core business is sound. In its statement, the company notes that its DVD licensing and distribution division has "performed exceptionally well in difficult market conditions, and this business is growing - bucking the industry trend." Shock's music division has apparently been "having a great run with recent top 10 debuts from the Black Keys and British India" and more hits are on the slate from the likes of Katie Melua and the
Rolling Stones.

Meanwhile, the firm's digital content distribution is reportedly "growing strongly" at a rate of 50% year-on-year. "We are well positioned to face the challenges that lie ahead," the company notes.

Shock had an inauspicious beginning, opening for business in 1988 as an import enterprise run out of a spare room in a Melbourne terrace house. In the 22 years that have passed, the company has grown to count 190 staff and annual revenue upwards of $100 million Australian.

In that time, Shock has shifted more than 100 million CDs and DVDs.