Guy Hands’s private equity firm resumes dividend

Ashley Coates
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Terra Firma Capital Partners saw pre-tax profits in the year to March 2016 fall to £2.4 million while revenue dropped to its lowest since 2012. The private equity firm, which had previously ended its dividend payouts, provided £3.5 million in dividends to Guy Hands, who acts as the fund’s chairman.

The fund includes one of the UK’s biggest care home groups, Four Seasons. which looks after 20,000 residents in 450 homes. Four Seasons is currently dealing with a multi-million pound debt pile and is negotiating with lenders to secure its future operations.

The rest of the firm’s investments are split across holdings in variety of areas, including renewables and garden centres.

“2016 was a year of transformation for Terra Firma,” a spokesperson told the Telegraph. “Terra Firma is well positioned to thrive in the current challenging environment we see developing in a post-Brexit world.”

Another Terra Firma fund achieved notoriety following its 2007 buyout of the EMI record label. A legal dispute Citigroup ended in the High Court last summer after seven years, with Terra Firma withdrawing allegations of fraud and offering to pay the group’s legal fees. The EMI deal cost Terra Firma £1.5bn and wiped €200 million personal fortune.

2016 also saw the firm sell Odeon Cinemas to AMC, owned by China’s wealthiest man Wang Jianlin. The deal saw Odeon sold for £921m, making AMC the world’s largest cinema operator.

Headquartered in London, but with offices in Guernsey and Beijing, today the firm has €11 billion in assets under management. The fund also donates 10% of its profits to charity, and last year donated £250,000 to a trust supporting projects in the London borough of Southwark. Terra Firma includes Justin King, the former CEO of Sainsburys, as vice-chair and head of portfolio business.