Warner, Maverick Settle Suits, Extend Ties

WMG to buy majority stake; Oseary to re-up.

Warner Music Group says it has reached an agreement in principle with Maverick Records to settle their litigation and extend the Maverick joint venture.

WMG will purchase the separate interests held in Maverick by Madonna and label COO Ronnie Dashev, giving WMG a majority stake. Also, as part of the deal, Maverick partner Guy Oseary will sign a new multi-year contract with Maverick.

Maverick will continue to operate as a stand-alone label. Under the agreement, it will place greater emphasis on signing and developing artists and will have the ability to draw upon the "substantial resources and expertise" of the Warner Bros. Records staff.

In making the announcement, WMG chairman/CEO of U.S. recorded music Lyor Cohen says, "This new joint-venture agreement is clearly a win-win for both WMG and Maverick, and we are pleased that Guy Oseary, one of the most successful A&R executives in the industry, is continuing his relationship with both companies. We have every confidence that Guy's creative genius in finding and developing new talent, Maverick's new release schedule and the label's outstanding catalog, which includes Alanis Morissette, Michelle Branch, the Prodigy and the Deftones, among others, will make the label a vital part of the WMG family moving forward."

WMG filed a preemptive action against Maverick on March 24 in Delaware Chancery Court, seeking a declaratory judgment. Maverick filed suit the following day in California Superior Court in L.A., claiming that WMG had breached its 12-year-old joint-venture pact with the label.