Warner takes stake in Oz's Peppermintblue

Firm becomes division of Warner Music Australia

BRISBANE, Australia -- Warner Music Australia has taken a majority stake in artist services firm Peppermintblue Entertainment, a company active in the recorded music, artist management and touring fields.

With immediate effect, Peppermintblue becomes integrated as a division of Warner Music Australia, and its staff will be housed within Warner Music's offices in Crows Nest, New South Wales and in Melbourne, Victoria.

The news was unveiled simultaneously with confirmation of the departure of Warner Music Australia president A&R/Mushroom Records managing director Michael Parisi.

"As we continue to redefine what a music company is and does, this deal will help accelerate our ability to partner with acts across all aspects of their career," Ed St. John, Warner Music Australia & New Zealand chairman and CEO, said.

Founded in 1999 by Pat "Smiley" Cleary and Wayne Pilkington, Peppermintblue has enjoyed success with a roster of acts such as Rogue Traders, Anthony Callea, the Androids, Amy Pearson, Erica Baxter and TV Rock.

"In addition," St. John said, "we will benefit from the resource and expertise of one of the most accomplished talent-spotting teams in Australia. Smiley and Wayne have a remarkable sense for pop talent combined with impressive commercial acumen and we're convinced they'll bring new ideas and great music to Warner Music."

Warner Music and Peppermintblue have a string of projects in the works for 2009, including recently signed dance artist Zoe Badwi, rising act the Sundance Kids and dance compilations on Peppermintblue's Neon imprint.