The X Factor in Terra Firma’s EMI Acquisition

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.

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