Hands may get second chance for EMI

Hands may get second chance for EMI


EMI owner Guy Hands has been offered the chance to buy back the struggling music group, according to reports

EMI owner Guy Hands has been offered a deal to buy back the struggling music group in a second-chance deal to keep the business, it has been reported.

US bank Citigroup is said to be poised to take control of EMI as Mr Hands battles to repay money used to buy the record company four years ago.

But Citigroup is offering Mr Hands a deal that would see him buy back the firm for around £1.6 billion should the bank seize control, according to the Mail On Sunday newspaper.

The move marks the latest twist in a lengthy saga between Mr Hands and Citigroup over EMI, the company behind artists such as Lily Allen and Robbie Williams.

Mr Hands lost a bitter legal battle with Citigroup in November in which he accused the bank of tricking his private equity firm Terra Firma into paying too much for EMI.

Terra Firma had tried to sue Citigroup for up to £7 billion in damages over the £4.2 billion acquisition in 2007, which was mainly financed by Citigroup.

The takeover is seen as being one of the worst-timed deals of the credit bubble, coming just before the crisis struck. EMI, already struggling in a declining music market, has since been left with crippling debt repayments which have threatened to see it fall into the hands of lender Citigroup.

Citigroup is now understood to be approaching potential buyers should it take control, including Mr Hands and others such as Warner Music.

It is believed this could allow Mr Hands the opportunity to get some money back, such as the £100 million of his own money which he pumped into EMI, if it can be sold for profit.

Citigroup was not immediately available for comment.



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