Sony Music Entertainment Germany in Munich and Hannover-based independent music company SPV Schallplatten, Produktion und Vertrieb GmbH have forged a comprehensive partnership.

Subject to anti-trust clearance in Germany and Brussels, Sony Music will be distributing a large part of SPV's hard rock and metal repertoire on the latter's behalf starting Oct. 1, 2009. Insolvency proceedings were commenced on July 31, 2009 for the indie with its broad-based rock catalog containing such names as Judas Priest, Motörhead, Doro, Biohazard, Fury in the Slaughterhouse and Helloween.

The extensive partnership will have a duration of several years and includes an option for Sony Music to buy SPV.

"This partnership gives Sony an excellent rock and metal catalog, allowing it to additionally strengthen its position in this segment as a competent rock company," said Edgar Berger, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria).

"We have found in Sony Music a long-term partner for SPV, ensuring successful distribution activities for our artists and label partners," said the insolvency administrator Manual Sack, an attorney from law firm Brinkmann & Partner in Hannover in a statement.

"With their commitment and dedication, SPV's staff under the aegis of Manfred Schütz have laid the foundations for this partnership. This was the only way of maintaining the company's business operations up until the present day. As a result, it was possible to retain at least some of the jobs in Hannover. I would particularly like to thank Edgar Berger and his team for the constructive negotiations which allowed us to come to a swift agreement."

Sack declined to disclose the number of staff layoffs.

SPV had been a successful hard and metal indie for 25 years. Up until its insolvency, it had over 80 employees and generated sales of more than €80 million ($113.7 million) a year. Its owner Manfred Schütz is continuing as CEO of the company.