Nashville-based independent label Equity Music Group has aligned itself with two investment groups: the Southern Maryland Group, a Washington D.C. venture; and Optimum Venture 3, a California-based fund that includes the co-founder of the PowerBar Energy Bar.

"These partners will give Equity excellent input and continuing support during a time when our industry is undergoing dramatic change," Equity chairman and partner Clint Black said in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, Equity president Mike Kraski, part of the group that founded the label in 2003, has exited that position. He will continue to serve as a member of the board of directors and maintains ownership in the company. Label senior VP Derek Simon assumes the role of GM and interim president.

Equity is home to Little Big Town, Black and Carolyn Dawn Johnson, among others.