Market turmoil ruins Guy Hands' hopes of a comeback

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The Independent Online

Tumultuous markets have claimed the scalp of one of Europe's biggest IPOs in recent years, dashing hopes of a €1bn (£860m) comeback from the private-equity mogul Guy Hands.

Deutsche Annington, Germany's largest residential landlord, had been due to list in Frankfurt yesterday but the launch, which would have valued the company at €11bn including debt, was pulled at the 11th hour by Mr Hands' Terra Firma vehicle due to "persistent adverse market conditions".

Mr Hands' move to pull the float comes as a huge setback for the Guernsey-based financier, pictured, who is struggling to rebuild his reputation after a disastrous £4bn takeover of the music retailer EMI in 2007. Terra Firma had been hoping to use part of the €1bn expected to be raised from the Deutsche Annington listing to return money to investors ahead of launching a new fund.

The decision comes after a month of mayhem in global markets, triggered by the Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's signals that the US central bank is ready to slow the pace of its stimulus programme.

The FTSE 100 sank 74.07 points to 6,229.87 yesterday, as investors also fretted over the renewed spectre of eurozone turmoil. The benchmark index has lost nearly 9 per cent since May, while Germany's Dax index has lost 8 per cent. Bailed-out Portugal has seen two cabinet ministers resign over harsh budget cuts this week, while Greece is being given a three-day ultimatum on austerity measures.