Santa Monica, California, June 13, 2002 – MCA Records and Ministry of Sound have signed an exclusive, two-tiered North American licensing agreement, it was jointly announced today by MCA Records President Jay Boberg, MCA Records Sr. VP A&R Gary Ashley, Ministry of Sound Music Group CEO Matt Jagger, and Ministry of Sound GM, North America Barney Glover. Under the terms of the agreement, MCA Records is the exclusive North American licensee for all Ministry of Sound compilations, launching a new joint venture compilation imprint, designed to marry the labels’ respective hit dance repertoires. Additionally, in an exclusive ‘first look’ clause, MCA Records may opt to position certain Ministry of Sound artists directly under the aegis of MCA Records/Ministry of Sound.

Launched in 1991 as London’s premier mega club at the peak of the UK dance explosion, Ministry of Sound has emerged as the preeminent name in dance music worldwide with successful, synergistic businesses in recording, radio, magazine publishing, touring, sponsorship, and the internet. In addition to signing and developing new artists, including the New York electroclash duo Fischerspooner, Ministry of Sound is also the world’s established leader in the dance/electronic/DJ compilation business. With record-breaking series including “Trance Nation,” “The Chillout Session,” and “The Annual,” a yearly selection of some of the label’s best offerings, Ministry of Sound has established a strong brand as the source for consistently cutting edge, quality dance and DJ compilations.

With New York-based GM Barney Glover at its North American helm, Ministry of Sound, the UK’s leading independent label, greatly expands its global operations. The first release under the new MCA Records/Ministry of Sound agreement will be Fatboy Slim’s Live On Brighton Beach, set for release on June 25.

Jay Boberg says, “Ministry of Sound is known throughout the world as the most pioneering entertainment and media enterprise in the dance, DJ, and electronic music genres. I respect the vision and consistent quality that Ministry of Sound has captured with their brand. Bringing Ministry of Sound into the MCA family is a big coup – a signing our team has been working on for nearly a year. Put simply, Ministry of Sound is the benchmark for dance music throughout the world.”

Matt Jagger says, “The USA has historically proved a graveyard for British indies and Ministry of Sound is very conscious that in order to stay focused on the creative, we need a powerful partner who can not only help us deliver our projects to the mainstream, but also help us take care of the back office. Our two-tiered deal with MCA allows us to do exactly that, and the combination of our A&R focus with their marketing and distribution power should provide an alternative for breaking acts in the world’s toughest market. We look forward to a glorious future together!”

Barney Glover says, “This deal allows us to focus on the promotion and longterm development of our artists while also powering up our compilation business. MCA’s complete belief in the strengths of having an independent marketing team plugged into a powerful major system has been refreshing. We are thrilled to be working with Jay and Gary.”

Gary Ashley says, “I have been a big fan of Ministry of Sound for years. I have nothing but respect for Matt Jagger, Barney Glover and the entire Ministry of Sound team. I am very excited about the expansion of Ministry of Sound here in the United States through their agreement with MCA Records. The work they put into their DJ and dance compilations along with their artist roster is quite impressive. I look forward to much success in the future.”

Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries around the world. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.

Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Music Latino, Universal Records, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and UM3 (outside the U.S.).

Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.