Citigroup and EMI to hold talks over Terra Firma court case
CITIGROUP and EMI Group have agreed to hold settlement talks next month in an attempt to end an acrimonious legal battle over what took place during the takeover of the famous music company by the buyout firm Terra Firma in 2007.
Guy Hands's Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd is seeking to reach an accord with Citigroup, EMI's lender, over the music label's debt before the trial starts in October in New York, according to sources who declined to be identified because the talks are confidential. Officials at Citigroup and Terra Firma in London declined to comment today.
The move comes after the British financier raised £105m (€127m) from investors in June to meet its debt requirements.
In March, Citigroup, EMI's lender, was denied a request to move Terra's lawsuit, which accuses the bank of misrepresenting facts and tricking Hands into buying EMI, to England from Manhattan. Citigroup has denied any wrongdoing.
Hands bought EMI for £4bn (€4.85bn) at the height of the buyout boom in 2007.
Since then, the London-based music label has had to combat the appetite for free file-sharing websites, which has eroded profits, while meeting tight conditions on £3bn (€3.64bn) of loans held by Citigroup.
Terra's June cash infusion allows the music label to meet debt requirements until March, according to an April 27 presentation to Terra Firma's investors.
However, the company may need other cash injections to meet its covenants over the coming years, Maltby Capital Ltd, EMI's holding company, which is controlled by Terra Firma, said yesterday in its annual report. (Bloomberg)