Guy Hands tells investors to hold on for rough 2010

TERRA Firma investors hoping for an encouraging word from Guy Hands in the middle of the EMI debacle were left sadly disappointed yesterday.

The outspoken financier, who is fighting to keep the record label out of the hands of creditor Citigroup, warned in his chairman’s preface to Terra Firma’s annual report: “2010 will not be an easy year for anyone in private equity and it will definitely be tougher than most people expect. I would therefore like to thank all of our investors for their continued support.”

Terra Firma lost €263.4m (£230.6m) last year, the accounts revealed. The shortfall is understood to relate to writedowns in the value of EMI.

The music company owes Citi more than £3bn after the bank backed Hands’ bumper takeover in 2007.

Hands said Terra Firma would reduce leverage in all its portfolio companies over the coming years in response to harsher economic climes.