MUSIC: Top Dollar For Top 40

Top Dollar For Top 40

In the fast-consolidating worldwide music business, the hottest property around was Geffen Records, the last of the big independent labels. Everyone wanted to buy the stable of stars built by hitmaker David Geffen, 47. Last week, in a sweetheart deal that was the talk of Hollywood, Geffen sold his company to MCA in a stock transaction worth an estimated $550 million, but got to stay on as chairman of the label, which records Cher, Don Henley and Guns N' Roses. The agreement makes Geffen MCA's biggest stockholder, with 11% of the entertainment conglomerate.

Geffen had considered a sale to Time Warner,...

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