U2's manager Paul McGuinness 'set to step down after 34 years'

U2 on stage in Dublin
Image caption Paul McGuinness has managed U2's business affairs since meeting them as teenagers in Dublin

The manager of Irish rock band U2 is reportedly set to step down from his role after 34 years.

Paul McGuinness has managed the band's business affairs since 1979. He also set up the company, Principle Management, which is based in Dublin.

The New York Times has reported that the concert company, Live Nation, has entered talks with Mr McGuinness to buy the firm.

It said Madonna's manager, Guy Oseary, is set to take over as U2 manager.

The paper quoted Mr McGuinness as having said: "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 'n' roll code of conduct.

"As I approach the musically relevant age of 64 I have resolved to take a less hands-on role as the band embarks on the next cycle of their extraordinary career."

He added: "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."

When contacted by the BBC on Tuesday, the London-based public relations firm representing Mr McGuinness said he would not be making any further comment on the story.

The band formed in 1976 after meeting at secondary school in Dublin and went on sell millions of records worldwide throughout their 37-year career.

Mr McGuinness, who is about 10 years older than the four band members, is reportedly paid 20% of U2's earnings.

Lead singer Bono has repeatedly described their long-time manager as the "fifth member of U2".

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