Citigroup wins control of EMI

GUY Hands’ battle to retain ownership of iconic record company EMI ended yesterday after Citigroup, provider of its £3.4bn debt mountain, took control of the firm.

Hands’ private equity firm Terra Firma was forced to cede ownership after failing to keep up EMI’s debt repayments to the investment bank.

Terra Firma bought EMI, home of artists such as Robbie Williams and Lily Allen, in 2007 using £2.6bn of debt from Citi, but struggled to make the company profitable.

Citi has written off 65 per cent of EMI’s debt, reducing it to £1.2bn. Terra Firma has lost all £1.7bn it invested.
Hands fought an acrimonious US court case over EMI last year, accusing Citi of tricking him into paying more for EMI than it was worth.