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PolyGram to buy Motown for $301 million

LOS ANGELES -- PolyGram announced Tuesday it has acquired Motown Records, the pioneering black music label, for $301 million from investment firm Boston Ventures.

The purchase had been widely expected for several months after the settlement of a bitter legal dispute involving Boston Ventures, MCA Inc. and the 34-year-old label.

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The deal also continues London-based PolyGram's aggressive acquisition of independent record labels, following its $300 million purchase of Island Records and its $500 million buyout of A&M Records.

Los Angeles-based Motown is home to Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Johnny Gill, Another Bad Creation, Shanice and Boyz II Men and has the best rythym & blues catalog in the business, including the Jackson Five, Lionel Richie, the Four Tops, the late Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Temptations.

It was sold by founder Berry Gordy in 1988 to Boston Ventures and MCA in 1988 for $61 million, with MCA taking a 17.5 percent stake and agreeing to handle distribution.

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