(Reuters) - Guy Hands briefly embraced punk while at university. Three decades on, Britain’s king of securitisation paid 4 billion pounds for EMI in a deal that now epitomises the culture of hubris and excess that existed during the credit bubble.
Here are some key facts on Hands:
— Hands has become embroiled in an increasingly bitter legal dispute with Citigroup, the U.S. bank, which advised on and provided financing for Terra Firma’s 4 billion pound ($5.83 billion) acquisition of EMI in 2007.
— A U.S. judge has scheduled September 10 for a pretrial conference in Manhattan federal court over Terra Firma’s claim that Citigroup inflated the price of EMI by failing to reveal that the only other remaining bidder had withdrawn from the auction. (EMI rejects the claim).
— EMI posted a 1.56 billion pound ($2.27 billion) full-year loss in February and warned of a likely significant shortfall after its banking covenants were tested at the end of March.
— Terra Firma has asked investors for 360 million pounds ($524.4 million) to help EMI through covenant tests until 2015.
— Some analysts say Hands is beginning to turn EMI around. Cost cutting and investment in new acts seems to be paying off.
— Hands was born in August 1959 in Kent and educated at Ravenscroft School, Beckington, and later at the Judd School, Tonbridge. Hands graduated with an MA in politics, philosophy and economics from Mansfield College, Oxford University.
— He began his career in finance in 1982 as a bond trader at Goldman Sachs, where he went on to become head of eurobond trading and later head of the global asset structuring group. Hands left Goldman to join Nomura in 1994.
— As managing director of the Principal Finance Group, a division within Nomura, Hands used his considerable balance sheet skills to snap up everything from trains to pubs.
— Hands spun off PFG from Nomura in 1997; in 2002 PFG became what is now Terra Firma Capital Partners. Terra Firma is, based in Guernsey and Hands moved there in 2009 in protest at Britain’s tax regime, joining a growing colony of British tax exiles living on the island.
— He was elected a global leader of tomorrow at the World Economic Forum in 2000 in recognition of his achievements.
— In 1996 Hands acquired 4,300 British pubs, briefly making him and Nomura the country’s largest pub landlords.
— In the same year, he acquired the assets of British Rail to form Angel Trains, Britain’s largest rolling stock leasing company.
— In 2004, he created Europe’s largest cinema chain through the acquisition and merger of Odeon and UCI. Also in 2004, he created the UK’s largest landfill operator.
— In 2007 came the EMI deal, which may end up defining Hands’s career.
Writing by David Cutler; London Editorial Reference Unit