Terra Firma’s investment in EMI doesn’t
seem to be working out so well, according to Lina Saigol. But why did Terra
Firma’s Guy Hands make the "impulsive acquisition" in the first place?
Saigol has a normal-and-boring explanation:
Mr Hands wanted EMI because he underbid on both Thames Water and Alliance
Boots and it was becoming embarrassing to keep losing to the big boys such
as Macquarie and KKR.
I, on the other hand, prefer Gumby’s
I remember a colleague pointing out that Hands was an absolutely huge metal
fan, particularly Judas Priest and Iron Maiden…
Why would Hands embark on such a quixotic project? Answer: EMI has released,
since 1980 and 2006, pretty much every single Iron Maiden album ever recorded.
Incidentally, Gumby is quite right about Hands being "a friendly, approachable
human being". I met him back in 1996, when he was a relatively unknown
merchant banker at Nomura, and spoke to him at length about his part in the
UK’s rail privatization process. He couldn’t have been more helpful, even when
he was on holiday in Hawaii.