January 19, 2010 / 4:28 AM / 8 years ago

Sony to sign deal with Simon Cowell: report

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<p>British "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell smiles during the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium in London in this July 1, 2007 file photo.Luke MacGregor/Files</p>

LONDON (Reuters) - Sony Corp's Sony Music Entertainment will announce a five-year deal with British show business entrepreneur Simon Cowell on Tuesday, the Financial Times reported.

Sony Music will exchange its 100 percent ownership of Cowell's record label Syco for a 50 percent share of a broader venture with Cowell, the paper said, citing a source close to the negotiations.

Cowell said earlier this month he was quitting as a judge on America's top-rated TV singing contest "American Idol" to launch his own singing contest next year.

Syco owns the rights to a number of Cowell's talent show discoveries, including British singers Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle.

The new venture will produce a range of music, television, film and digital content, often with other Sony divisions, the Financial Times added.

Reporting by Tim Castle; Editing by Lincoln Feast

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