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Guy Hands admits EMI deal stopped Terra Firma becoming a ‘mega-fund’

By | Published on Wednesday 21 January 2015

Terra Firma v Citigroup

Hey everybody, let’s talk about Guy Hands. Ha, look at all you former EMIers recoiling from your screen in horror. Don’t worry, he’s not back, he’s just been chattering about his firm’s audacious and ultimately disastrous acquisition of the EMI Group in 2007.

According to the Wall Street Journal, he told an event at the London School Of Economics this week: “EMI – that’s a name I try and forget. There’s an old slogan which is: just because they want to lend you money, doesn’t mean you should take it. And I’d say that’s a good one to remember”.

Hands’ debt-laden multi-billion deal to purchase EMI just before the credit crunch went horribly wrong, costing his private equity outfit Terra Firma in the region of £1.75 billion. As previously reported, a legal battle between the equity firm and its advisors and backers on the EMI deal, Citigroup, is set to return to court in June 2016.

Hands himself exited the business of music when Citigroup repossessed the EMI Group in 2011, the bankers subsequently splitting the company into two and selling it on to Universal and Sony.

But the whole episode still has an impact on Hands and his investment business. “Clearly we’re not trying to be a mega fund or mega firm”, he said on the sidelines at the LSE event. “Effectively that opportunity went with the EMI transaction”.

Ah, sort of feel sorry for Team Terra Firma now, don’t you? No. Of course not. They were a bunch of cunts and dem’s the breaks.



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