Bloomberg: EMI 'Defining Moment' For Guy Hands
July 30, 2008 at 5:09 AM (PT)
BLOOMBERG writes that GUY HANDS, the BRITISH dealmaker who made his name securitizing pubs and passenger trains, has assembled investors on a sunny JUNE afternoon in LONDON for the annual review of the companies held by his buyout firm, TERRA FIRMA CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD.
High on the list: EMI GROUP LTD., the record company he bought in AUGUST 2007 with 1.47 billion pounds ($2.93 billion) cash, more than he's invested in any previous takeover, and 2.5 billion pounds of loans.
EMI -- a 111-year-old company whose acts have ranged from the ROLLING STONES to RADIOHEAD and from IRON MAIDEN to COLDPLAY -- has been struggling with declining sales since 2001. EMI's net loss in the 12 months ended in MARCH 2007 totaled 288.5 million pounds.
While HANDS has spent the past year firing employees, looking to weed out unprofitable performers and bringing in digitally aware executives, he has stepped into a company that has defied previous attempts to lift it out of its misery.
"EMI will be defining for GUY," ROBERT WOMSLEY, a partner in LONDON at CITIGROUP INC.'s alternative investments unit, says in an interview. "If he gets it right, it's another deal where he saw the opportunity others didn't," says WOMSLEY, whose firm has money in more than 300 private equity funds, including TERRA FIRMA. "If he gets it wrong, everyone will say, `I told you so.:
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