Citigroup paid on both sides of EMI deal

CITIGROUP investment bankers boasted of getting paid on both sides of a deal after the private equity group Terra Firma made a £4.2bn bid for the music group EMI, according to court documents listed in New York yesterday.

According to a filing from Guy Hands’ Terra Firma, which alleges that it was advised by Citi to pay more than it needed to win ownership of EMI, one of Citi’s bankers said: “Please make sure that....David Wormsley and me get revenue credit for Terra Firma buyside financing as well as EMI sellside M&A.”

Banker Matthew Smith, went on to write in response to congratulatory messages from colleagues: “We got paid on both sides of the deal!”

Terra Firma is suing Citigroup for allegedly giving it bad advice during its bid for EMI which has since turned out disastrously.

A Citigroup statement said last night: “The evidence in this case is overwhelming that Citi has done nothing wrong, and we firmly believe that Citi will prevail” in this case.”

In its filing to the courts, Citigroup said EMI authorised the bank to provide financing to potential bidders including Terra Firma. Citigroup is trying to have the action struck out.