Belfast Telegraph

Terra Firm loses EMI court fight over £4bn deal

Citigroup did not fool a British private equity firm into buying music company EMI at an inflated price of £4bn in 2007, a jury in New York City ruled.

The jury in the US District Court in Manhattan returned its verdict yesterday in a civil case brought by Terra Firma Capital partners against Citigroup.

Terra Firma had accused Citigroup of making it think there were other bidders for EMI when it was bidding alone.

The jury took only four hours to reach its decision following a three-week trial which had pitted two former friends and powerbrokers in the British banking world against each other.

Terra Firma founder Guy Hands gave evidence that Citigroup dealmaker David Wormsley had misled him about the number of EMI suitors by warning that he should not lower his bid because others were making offers for the firm.

After the verdict was announced, Citigroup lawyer Theodore Wells praised the outcome. "Mr Wormsley was put through a terrible ordeal and he was totally innocent. It was a travesty he was put through this."

In a statement, Terra Firma said it was disappointed with the verdict.