EMI Music so bad, it's good


Private-equity venture Terra Firma says it has no plans to sell ailing recorded music division EMI despite how poorly the company has been run.

EMI, which parted company with former CEO Eric Nicoli and finance director Martin Stewart last month, was acquired by Terra Firma for £2.4 billion in May.

"We are determined to keep that part of the business and we are determined to make it viable," Terra Firma CEO Guy Hands told reporters Friday at the Royal Television Society's annual confab.

Analysts had speculated that the recorded music division would be sold off and merged with another industry player, with Terra Firma retaining the music publishing unit.

In his address, Hands outlined Terra Firma's investment strategy.

"We look for the worst business we can find in the most challenged sector, and we get really happy if it's really, really bad," he told conventioneers. "EMI, our most recent investment, is a classic example. We're just hoping EMI is as bad as we think it is."

Mimi Turner