Universal Music Group has signed a new, long-term global deal with Andrew Lloyd Webber, which renews and expands an existing agreement with the British composer whose new musical "Love Never Dies" opens in March.

The arrangement with Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group allows Universal to distribute and market the composer's catalog in digital and physical formats, including recordings of "The Phantom of the Opera," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Evita."

The deal covers global recording and publishing agreements. Universal will administer and exploit Really Useful's extensive music publishing interests, including their representation for film, TV, advertising and other mediums.

Universal will also release and represent the recordings and compositions from Lloyd Webber's new "Phantom" sequel, "Love Never Dies." The musical opens in London in March.

The new deal also extends the worldwide (ex-U.K. and Ireland) publishing agreement for the entire Really Useful Group catalog.

"I am delighted to have renewed my partnership with Universal Music," Lloyd Webber said in a statement. "They have been wonderful custodians of my music for over three decades, and it is a relationship that I and my colleagues at RUG value most highly."

"Together we have taken the music around the world, and it is exciting to be announcing this agreement on the eve of our latest collaboration, the 'Love Never Dies' album. I am grateful to my friends, and I really mean friends, at Universal for their loyalty and support over many years, and look forward to working with them in future, especially as we work together to explore the incredible possibilities that digital technologies will bring. "

Polydor Records will release the cast recording of "Love Never Dies" in the U.K. in March. It will be followed by openings in New York in November 2010 and Australia in 2011, and a worldwide release of the album.

The partnership is set to expand on the previous deal by maximizing exposure for the catalog of compositions and recordings via new media platforms and to step up their use in film, TV, advertising. It will also expand the catalog's digital presence on the increasing number of digital music services.

Universal Music and Andrew Lloyd Webber have had a partnership since the 1970 release of the original "Jesus Christ Superstar" concept album. The new partnership was negotiated by Jean-François JF Cécillon, vice chairman of the Really Useful Group; Lucian Grainge, chairman/CEO, Universal Music Group International; David Renzer, chairman/CEO, Universal Music Publishing Group; and David Joseph, chairman/CEO, Universal Music U.K.

"I am personally delighted that we have renewed our commercial and creative association with the Really Useful Group," said Grainge in a statement. "To have a strategic business partnership with Andrew as well as a personal relationship is one of the things that really makes this business tick."

JF Cécillon added: "Signing simultaneously both the recorded and publishing catalogs to one company is a major development for us. Our strategy is to enhance the asset value of our properties - in particular across all legal digital platforms globally - and clearly, our ability to manage and protect our music, both past and future recordings, is of great importance. We have a strong and supportive relationship with Universal Music, and I'm delighted to cement our partnership for the future."

Universal said recordings of Andrew Lloyd Webber's work have sold in the "tens of millions" during the past 40 years, with worldwide sales of "The Phantom of the Opera" albums exceeding 20 million.