Court drama over EMI deal

City A.M. Reporter
CITIGROUP banker David Wormsley yesterday testified that he could not remember specifics of any of the phone calls that are at the heart of a civil fraud trial over Terra Firma private equity chief Guy Hands’s $6.4bn (£4.2bn) purchase of EMI in 2007.

In the first full day of court battle between the two former friends, Wormsley also told the US District Court jury that Hands had misrepresented him to EMI during the bidding for the music company.

The banker also denied advising Hands to bid high, an assertion made by Terra Firma in suing the bank in December 2009 for fraud and seeking up to $8bn in damages.

“I don’t remember any of the calls specifically,” soft-spoken Wormsley said. “I remember speaking to him over the weekend on the subject of financing.”

Hands has testified that Wormsley, 50, had lied to him in three phone calls on the weekend of May 18-20, 2007 about a rival bid for EMI from Cerberus Capital Management at 262p per share. In fact, there was no rival bid, and Terra Firma's bid of 265 pence per share was the only one at auction on May 21.]

The label, known for musicians like the Beatles and Pink Floyd, is struggling under the weight of its debt.