This now looks to be the endgame for EMI. The hapless music group has just broken its banking covenants, after being forced to admit defeat in its latest effort to raise £120m to keep its debtors at bay. Terra Firma, Guy Hands' private equity house, now faces the prospect of having to hand EMI over to Citigroup - from whom he borrowed the billions to make the purchase in the first place. What an unwholesome mess.
Hands is like the proverbial bull in a china shop - charging in with the ridiculous sum of £4.2bn in his pockets back in 2007, buying the place and then smashing it all up. As a result, this once noble British company is heading for complete dismemberment at the tender hands of KKR and Warner. Make no mistake, this is something to be regretted. Those who refuse to despair when they observe the terrible decline of British manufacturing over the last 50 years usually console themselves by saying: 'Well, we’re still really good at finance and the creative industries. Why bash metal when you can earn your keep with tidier and higher-kudos industries like these?' Fine - except we appear to be faltering on these fronts as well.
The point is that EMI need not have wound up in this state... [CONTINUED]
In today's bulletin:
Mandelson: Business leaders 'deceived' by Tory plans to scrap NI hike
Ofcom says mobile charges ruling will save us £800m
MT's new book: The Management Masterclass
Editor's blog: Say bye-bye to EMI?
Business in the raw: MT's new charity calendar