U2's longtime manager Paul McGuinness has confirmed that he is stepping down and handing over day-to-day management of the band to next-generation power manager Guy Oseary as part of a reported $30-million deal in which Live Nation will purchase McGuinness' and Oseary's management firms.
"It could be seen as slightly poor etiquette for a manager to consider retiring before his artist has split, quit or died, but U2 have never subscribed to the rock and roll code of conduct," McGuinness said in a statement. "As I approach the musically relevant age of 64 I have resolved to take a less hands-on role as the band embark[s] on the next cycle of their extraordinary career."
McGuinness has been U2's manager for more than 30 years, nearly since its formation.
"I am delighted that Live Nation, who with Arthur Fogel have been our long-term touring partners, have joined us in creating this powerful new force in artist management," McGuinness' statement continued. "I have long regarded Guy Oseary as the best manager of his generation and there is no one else I would have considered to take over the day-to-day running of our business."
Billboard reports that Live Nation's deal to acquire McGuinness' Principle Management and Oseary's Maverick management, whose top client is Madonna, is worth around $30 million. The deal has not been finalized.
Principle and Maverick would be housed under Live Nation's Artist Nation management division, which Billboard reports has lost money in the first three quarters of 2013.
In 2008 U2 aligned itself closely with Live Nation in a 12-year deal covering touring, merchandising and the U2.com website, but not its recordings or music publishing. The group is working on a new album due next year.
According to various reports, McGuinness would become chairman of Principle Management, with the specifics of his duties still to be determined.
Follow Randy Lewis on Twitter: @RandyLewis2