An email sent by a senior Citi credit officer reveals the bank was edgy very early on about the $4 billion it was lending to private equity firm Terra Firma to buy EMI, the Financial Times reports.
The 2007 message is a blow to Citi as it fights to prove that it did not cajole Terra Firma’s chairman, Guy Hands, into bidding for EMI despite knowing the company was in dire straits.
Hands alleges that if if it weren’t for three phone calls from a Citi i-banker telling him there was another buyer in the race, he would not have made the bid.
This email from Ian Cockerill goes a long way to showing senior bankers were aware that EMI was on shaky ground, via the FT:
‘Oh dear, Oh dear! These must be very valuable relationships for us to have extended again. I can see us taking a huge loss on this deal’.
Another credit officer branded EMI, a “terribly ill cancer patient.” Also seemingly incriminating – the EMI loans were dumped in Citi’s ‘troubled loans unit’ on the day the deal closed, Cockerill admitted in court on Monday.