From Document Records Newsletter, June 2007.
TERRA FIRMA PIPS WARNER FOR EMI SHOCK
Scrap company merchants Terror Firm took the pick of the pops when it put in
the winning bid for EMI this week.
Described on the internet auction site as “Large Record Collection For Sale”
the company’s listing first appeared on Ebay in 1927 as HMV with a starting bid
of one shilling and sixpence. Since then there have been several “watchers”
including Terror Firm, Warner Music and Arthur’s Record Mart (Grimsby). But it
was Terror Firm’s Chief Executive Guy Handoverthemoney who’s trigger finger hit
the “Place Bid” button at the last second with his winning bid of £2,400,000,000.
When asked about concerns by staff regarding the reputation of equity companies
being little more than asset strippers Guy told reporters that his company
intended to "build on EMI's current position as one of the world's leading
music companies and accelerate the development of its digital and online
strategy," Asked if he was prepared to go into more detail he said that
negotiations were already in hand to sell the present stock of Beatles CDs to
the Beijing Novelty Clock Company and that discussions were under way with a
view to selling back catalogue vinyl stocks to The Bill and Ben Plant Pot
Company of Shanghai.
When pressed about possible redundancies he went on to say that “some staff
reduction would be inevitable but that this process would be through natural
elimination”. Asked if this meant early retirement and voluntary redundancy he
said “yes” adding that in addition any staff that was tone deaf, left handed,
didn’t like acquisition companies or that he didn’t like the look of would also
receive redundancy notices. Asked how long this process would take Guy answered
In a statement read out by Guy’s accountant on the steps of EMI’s head office
in central London it was explained why Guy had originally been attracted to the
purchase of the company. It was explained that it was the result of his life
long interest in music which began as a young adolescent when he watched Olivia
Newton John writhing about in the surf wearing a leotard in one of her music
videos in 1955. He also gave the less plausible reason of saying that he
“thinks that Coldplay are geniuses, the latter comment casting a shadow of
doubt on the Chief Executive’s integrity and intentions.