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POPTONES POPS

Alan McGee’s New Endeavor Makes A Splash On London Stock Market
British rock guru Alan McGee is best known for discovering Oasis and piloting Creation Records to over 30 million in sales. British investors obviously believe he still has the Midas touch.

McGee's new endeavor, Poptones Plc, soared to 50% above its initial offering price on the London stock market, valuing McGee's latest venture at about 17 million pounds ($25.66 million).

After butting heads with Sony, a fellow shareholder, McGee shut down his Creation imprint (which had been Oasis' first home) earlier this year and struck out on his own. The Brit said he wanted to throw off the shackles of music multinationals and hoped to "bump into" his next superstar.

"I've had a dictatorial paymaster in Sony coming down from New York saying ‘do it this way,' ‘do it that way,'" McGee told CNBC. "I thought going to the stock market was actually a more interesting and creative way to approach my business."

McGee, who owns 39% of Poptones, plans to use the cash raised in the flotation to sign new bands. "I'm not anti-commercial," said McGee, who got the name for his new label from a Public Image Limited song. "I like selling lots of records."

Despite cutting ties with Sony at the end of Creation's existence, McGee said Poptones had signed a Japanese licensing deal with the company.

In related news, Britain's New Music Express is reporting that Courtney Love may be in negotiations with McGee to bring Hole to Poptones. The pair have been seen together around London.

Love made public her dissatisfaction with the music industry at the Digital Hollywood conference in May (hitsdailydouble, 5/18), and McGee's plans to distribute Poptones music via the Internet gives the pair common ground.

"I'm leaving the major label system and there are hundreds of artists who are going to follow me," Love said at the conference. "I'm looking for people to help connect me to more fans, because I believe fans will leave a tip based on the enjoyment and service I provide."

Sources close to McGee have played his pairing with Love down, simply saying the two are "of a like mind."

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