David Prosser: End of the road for Hands at EMI

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The Independent Online

Outlook The EMI saga is finally drawing to a close. Having taken control of the music company, Citigroup will presumably offload it to the highest bidder, finally removing the uncertainties under which the company's employees and performing artists have been labouring since Terra Firma's takeover began to go so badly wrong.

Guy Hands, Terra Firma's boss, emerges from the wreckage with little credit. It is clear now that he grossly overpaid for the music business almost four years ago – a monumental misjudgement, even if you were to accept his argument that Citigroup conned him into paying what he did by making up a story about other bidders circling.

The US courts, of course, did not accept that argument in December, when a jury quickly and unanimously ruled there had been no Citigroup fraud on Terra Firma. That judgement left Mr Hands looking like a sore loser as well as a bad judge of EMI's true value. Now he has paid the price.