Business diary: Terra Firma's friends rally round

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The Independent Online

It was good to see Simon Walker, the chief executive of the British Venture Capital and PrivateEquity Association, loyally coming out to bat for Guy Hands' Terra Firma over the weekend. He told a conference that EMI was better off in the hands of Terra Firma and that "as a listed company, [it] was going down the plughole". That may be the case – still, Hands will no doubt be reflecting that it is a pity the reverse is plainly not true. Terra Firma is certainly not better off for having taken over EMI.



Casting some spells at UBS

Who says that it is no fun working for a bank any more? The days of mega bonuses may be over (the payouts are only massive these days), but the perks continue. Take the New York office of Swiss bank UBS, which treated staff and their families to a preview screening of the latest Harry Potter movie last week. Now if only some of the famous Hogwarts magic would rub off on the January pay round...



Westminster wins can be expensive

The spoils of office are not always as lucrative as one might expect. Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, has announced his resignation from a generous non-executive directorship at Rugby Estates, the property group. That's £30,000 a year he is waving goodbye to in the interests of ensuring no conflicts of interest. Meanwhile, Michael Fallon, whom many had expected to secure the TSC chairmanship, has returned to his non-executive post on the board of money broker Tullett Prebon, a job he gave up when he was hoping to get the TSC post. Every defeat has its compensations.



A small price to pay for Meaden

Next time you see Deborah Meaden socking it to some hapless entrepreneur on Dragon's Den, reflect on this: each of her words is worth 18p. At least, that's how much Rich Stonehouse, the founder of Interview Hub, which explains that it makes its money from interviewing celebrities for magazines and newspapers, is proposing to charge for a write-up of his forthcoming chat with Meaden. Such is the Dragon's wisdom, her words would be cheap at twice the price in our humble opinion.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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