Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hands admits buying EMI made Terra less Firma

Guy Hands has more or less admitted that buying EMI was a rotten plan:

Guy Hands, founder of private equity firm Terra Firma, on Thursday admitted that if the May 2007 auction for music group EMI had happened two weeks later, he would never have bought the company, by far his biggest investment.

It's a little hard to think why he might have spotted the strange smell coming from the building had he waited fourteen days, having missed what everyone else could see when he did do the deal.

Still, he's excited for this year:
Meanwhile, on the operating front, EMI is making progress, Mr Hands added, noting that he expects earnings to reach £200m next year while the re-release of The Beatles recordings has been a huge success.

Really? A huge success? If it had been, that EMI is relying on a forty-year old product would be enough of a worry. But you'd have to suggest that the Beatle churn resulted in 'not an embarrassment' rather than a huge success.