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Friday, 21 June, 2002, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
P Diddy takes back record label
Sean
Combs set up Bad Boy Entertainment in 1991
Rapper Sean "P Diddy" Combs has bought back control of his Bad Boy Entertainment record label, ending a decade-long partnership with Arista Records.

The controversial star has enjoyed a 50-50 joint venture with Arista, producing such artists as the Notorious BIG and Faith Evans.

As part of the deal Combs, 32, regained control of the artist roster and back catalogue.

He said he wanted to end the relationship in order to expand the business and to be able to give the label more direction.


I wanted to grow and move out of the house

Sean Combs

Terms of the deal have not been released but experts have estimated the rapper would have paid between $20m-$30m - a figure disputed by Combs.

He has not ruled out going into partnership with another big record firm and has already been in talks with Vivendi, Time Warner and Sony.

But he insists he would not sell any part of his company for less than $100m (66.8m).

Fashion label

"I've had introductory conversations, but I'm listening to all types of offers and I wouldn't be opposed to selling 50% of my label," he said.

"I've been quoted as saying I would not sell any part of my company for less than $100m and I still feel that way."

Combs founded Bad Boy Entertainment in 1991 with just two artists, Christopher Wallace, aka Notorious BIG, and Craig Mack.

He has since branched out into other fields including fashion, with his Sean John label, and Bad Boy Films and is a recording artist in his own right.

He first hooked up with Arista in 1993, forming a 50-50 partnership in 1996.

Jennifer Lopez and Sean Combs
Lopez and Combs split up during his trial on gun charges

Both Combs and Arista say the split is amicable.

"I wanted to grow and move out of the house," Combs said.

"If I do another joint venture, I'd like to have a bigger staff, have more control internationally and in marketing and video decisions.

Ad hoc

"I'm leaving a boutique situation to become a major," he added.

Arista has left the door open to carry out ad hoc promotion, sales and marketing for Bad Boy artists.

"I value my relationship with Sean and I wish him well in his future endeavours," said Arista chief executive Antonio "LA" Reid.

Bad Boy Entertainment became big news following the death of its star artist the Notorious BIG, also known as Biggie Smalls.

It is widely believed he was shot as part of a turf war with label Death row Records, dubbed the East West rivalry.

Death Row rapper Tupac Shakur had been shot dead the previous year.

No-one has been convicted of the deaths of either.

Combs, former boyfriend of singer Jennifer Lopez, found himself in court over gun allegations relating to a separate nightclub shooting, but was cleared of all charges.

See also:

01 Oct 01 | Entertainment
14 Feb 01 | Entertainment
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17 Mar 01 | Entertainment
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