Shares fall amid German music spat


COLOGNE, Germany -- Shares in Berlin-based music company Jack White Prods. plunged 20% to €1.23 ($ 1.7) Monday amid very public mudslinging between JWP chief executive 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 and 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, ex-president of BMG Europe and since March 2006 CEO of JWP, 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 the veteran music producer 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-euro lawsuit against JWP. White has also said he will challenge JWP's recent €2.85 million ($3.9 million) sale of music publishing subsidiary Transcontinent.

The public spat has led many investors to question the fiscal stability of JWP. The Berlin-based group booked losses of €557,000 ($770,000) in the first quarter of 2007 on sales of just €1.83 million ($2.5 million).