Winners will be announced on April 30th at ceremony in New York City

Santa Monica, California – April 8, 2003 – Universal Music and Video Distribution (UMVD), the world’s largest home entertainment company, was named as one of only six finalists today in the Best Sales Organization category by the American Business Awards.

Hailed as “the business world’s own Oscars” by the New York Post (September 22, 2002), The American Business Awards are a national all-encompassing awards program honoring exceptional business achievement. The awards will be presented at a nationally broadcast show on Wednesday, April 30, at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in New York City.

Almost 500 nominations from companies in virtually every industry were submitted for consideration. Universal Music & Video Distribution will be competing in the Best Sales Organization category, along with the other finalists including: Nextel Communications, Marriott Vacation Ownership, Inc, Microchip Technology, John Laing Homes, and Lionbridge Technologies, Inc

Jim Urie, President, Universal Music and Video Distribution, commented: “We are thrilled to be recognized by the American Business Awards. This nomination speaks to the tremendous team of innovative sales and marketing professionals at UMVD, as well as the labels and studios we are proud to represent.”

Universal Music and Video Distribution is the acknowledged leader in its field, having won the last three consecutive “Distributor of the Year” awards from the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, as well as the prestigious SPARC (Supplier Performance Award by Retail Category) from the International Mass Retail Association, among other honors.

Members of the American Business Awards’ Board of Distinguished Judges & Advisors and their staffs will select winners from among the finalists. The Board includes business luminaries such as Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes, Bruce Nelson, chairman & CEO of Office Depot, marketing gurus Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Anthony Robbins, Chairman & CEO of The Anthony Robbins Companies, Drew Schutte, publisher of Wired Magazine, Jeffrey Tarr, chairman & CEO of Hoover’s Inc., and Donald Trump, chairman, president and CEO of The Trump Organization.

Universal Music and Video Distribution handles the distribution and sales for such labels as Universal Motown Records Group, Island Def Jam Music Group, Roadrunner, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, MCA Records, MCA Nashville, Universal South, Lost Highway, Mercury Nashville, Verve Music Group, Universal Classics, Universal Music Latino, Universal Music Enterprises, Hip-O, UTV, Univision Music Group, DreamWorks, Disa, ABKCO, Hollywood, Lideres Entertainment, Lyric Street, Northsound, RMM, Thump, Varese Sarabande, Walt Disney, VI Music and Viva Discos as well as theatrical video from Universal Studios and DreamWorks.

About Universal Music & Video Distribution

Universal Music and Video Distribution is a unit of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries. 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 Strategic Marketing & Commercial Affairs (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technologies division.

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

About The American Business Awards(SM)

A celebration of great performances in the workplace, The American Business Awards are the first national, all-encompassing business awards program. Honoring companies of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Awards recognize outstanding leadership, innovation, perseverance, creativity, teamwork, and integrity through more than 40 categories. The first American Business Awards – nicknamed The SteviesTM from the Greek word for “crowned” – will be presented at an awards show in New York City on April 30. The program is overseen by a Board of Distinguished Judges & Advisors, which includes leading business executives, authors, and academics. Sponsors of the 2003 American Business Awards include BusinessTalkRadio, DHR International, Empire Media, Forbes, Hoover’s Online, Inc. Magazine, Miller Heiman, Selling Power Magazine, and Wired Magazine.