Exec battle has JWP down in the dumps


Shares of Berlin-based music company Jack White Prods. plunged 20% to €1.23 ($1.70) Monday amid public mudslinging between CEO Thomas Stein and company founder Jack White.

Stein and White are two of the best-known faces in the German music business.

As a producer-composer, White has sold more than 500 million records worldwide, including top 10 U.S. chart hits as producer on Laura Branigan's "Gloria" (1982) and "Self Control"(1983).

Stein, former president of BMG Europe and JWP CEO since March 2006, is known to German TV audiences as a jury member on the local version of "Pop Idol."

The White-Stein showdown began Thursday when Stein and JWP fired White, accusing him of using JWP funds to set up a competing music-publishing business.

White fired back, attacking Stein in the German media and pledging to file a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against JWP. White also has said he will challenge JWP's recent €2.85 million sale of music-publishing unit Transcontinent.

The public spat has led many investors to question the fiscal stability of JWP. The Berlin-based group booked a loss of €557,000 for the first quarter on revenue of €1.8 million.