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Warner Expands Live & Merchandising Activities

HAMBURG, germany (VIP-NEWS) — International acts Estelle and Biffy Clyro are among the first beneficiaries of the activities of two new units recently launched — with no fanfare — by Warner Music Central Europe (WMCE) to expand its capabilities in the live and merchandising markets.

Warner Music International confirms that tour promotion and booking agency Neuland Concerts and WMCE Merchandising have been operating as stand-alone units — although utilizing Warner's infrastructure, resources and commercial footprint — since August 2008. The units are based in Warner's Hamburg office.

"Our new capabilities in touring and merchandising are further evidence of our re-definition of what a modern music company is and does," said Bernd Dopp, chairman and CEO of Warner Music Central and Eastern Europe, in a statement:

"We continue to evolve our abilities," added Dopp, "to provide an expanded range of services, forge broader creative partnerships with artists and take a more comprehensive approach to their long-term development."

Since its launch, Neuland Concerts – headed by managing director Christian Gerlach — has worked on tours with a number of Warner artists including Estelle and Biffy Clyro. An April tour has also been arranged, in association with promoters Mario Mendrzycki and Marek Lieberberg, for local artist Max Mutzke. In addition, the unit is booking and promoting German tours for artists such as Jose Gonzalez and Peter, Bjorn and John.

Prior to his Warner appointment, Gerlach was GM at German promoter Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion, where he was also managing director of Hamburg's Reeperbahn festival.

WMCE Merchandising is headed by Karsten Lutz, who has overseen the development and manufacture of product ranges for international acts the Subways, Ashley Tisdale and Mastadon as well as domestic artists Jennifer Rostock and Peter Fox, plus third party brands such as Reeperbahn Music Festival and soccer magazine 11Freunde.

Lutz joined WMCE as head of marketing from Deutschrock. One of Germany's biggest merchandising specialists, Deutschrock's clients have included Tokio Hotel, Die Aerzte and Herbert Groenemeyer. According to Billboard