Terra Firma Pumps More Cash into EMI

(Reuters) – Buyout firm Terra Firma has pumped 105 million pounds ($152.9 million) of new cash into EMI, sources familiar with the situation said, enough to keep the music group out of the hands of lender Citigroup (C.N).

Financier Guy Hands’s group had earlier secured approval from investors to stump up the money, and push the struggling group back within the terms of its loan. It had until Monday to transfer the equity to EMI.

Terra Firma and Citigroup declined to comment.

Hands’s 4 billion pound acquisition of EMI in 2007 has come to epitomise the perils of leveraged buy-outs at the peak of the credit bubble, with a high debt burden and a volatile performance crippling the business.

Citigroup is still saddled with 3 billion pounds of EMI debt, and could have taken control of the business if Terra Firma had not been able to provide the money.

EMI breached covenants in March and Hands had been hoping to raise 360 million pounds to see EMI through any other covenant test until 2015. The 105 million pounds he has secured will keep EMI out of Citigroup’s hands for another year.

A total of 80 percent of Terra Firma’s investors — or limited partners, as they are known in the industry — voted in favour of the fund raising, one of the sources said, more than the minimum 75 percent required.

($1=.6865 Pound)

(Reporting by Simon Meads and Douwe Miedema)