Terra Firma close to EMI Group deal


LONDON -- Terra Firma has cleared one of the final hurdles in its proposal to buy out EMI Group.

Just after the final deadline closed on the acquisition process this afternoon, the private equity firm announced to the London Stock Exchange that it had surpassed the 90% required rate for EMI shareholder acceptance.

As of 12:15 p.m. GMT -- just 45 minutes before the deadline -- Terra Firma's offer to acquire EMI had received 90.27% acceptance.

Stock in EMI soared 10.5 pence, or 4.13%, to 264 pence directly following the announcement.

Terra Firma, controlled by financier Guy Hands, declared its intentions to own EMI on May 21 with a 265 pence ($5.21) per share offer, valuing the London-based music firm at about £2.4 billion ($4.89 billion).

An EMI spokesman declined comment on today's development.

Warner Music Group and a team led by former EMI Group CEO Jim Fifield were among the potential suitors who had earlier lined-up proposals for the music major, only to pull out after the U.K.'s Takeover Panel imposed a tight deadline buyout.

Before today's conclusion, Terra Firma had been granted a string of deadline extensions with the Takeover Panel, the body responsible for approving Britain's corporate acquisitions and mergers.

Earlier deadlines passed on July 12, July 19 and on July 27, when the equity firm had clinched 84.94% approval.

The latest and final extension proved just enough to get Terra Firma over the line.