Wednesday 8 June 2016 9:12 am

How The Beatles sent Terra Firma's Guy Hands back to court to confront Citigroup

Those who have been walking by the Strand recently may have spotted a familiar face, as Guy Hands and his legal team have returned to court for the latest phase in the legal battle over his ill-fated EMI deal. 

Hands is suing Citigroup for £1.5bn worth of damages in the High Court over Terra Firma's – the private equity firm he founded – failed takeover of the music group on the grounds that the bank misled him into overpaying for the company.

Terra Firma purchased EMI for £2.4bn in 2007 but the music company's performance quickly turned south and Citigroup eventually stepped in and took control of EMI in 2011.

Bloomberg reported that Hands told the court today that the failed takeover left him personally €200m (£156.6m) out of pocket, and destroyed his reputation along with his aspirations to turn Terra Firma into a mega firm.

"It’s not so much the disaster, because lots of firms had disasters at that time, it’s the continuation of the EMI story that has ended that aspiration," he is reported as saying. "What other firms did was bury them and move on. What has caused our particular problem is the fact that we haven’t moved on, for good reasons."

Read more: Hands is now chairman, CIO and interim CEO of Terra Firma

Citigroup denies Hands' allegations and a spokesperson told Reuters that his case is "entirely without merit".

"Citi did not make any dishonest statements to Guy Hands or Terra Firma throughout the auction process for EMI and is confident the UK trial will confirm this," the spokesperson continued. 

Read more: Guy Hands: Russia is the only winner of Brexit

However, the lawyer representing Terra Firma is arguing that the banking giant misled Hands into believing there was another bidder in the purchasing process, therefore leading him to put in an offer much higher than he otherwise would have done. 

Hands has previously tried to sue Citigroup over the same issue in the US. Although the jury found in favour of Citi, the verdict was overturned on a technicality at a later date.