In his first public comments since losing a lawsuit against Citigroup over the EMI deal, Guy Hands said his buyout firm Terra Firma would have "looked like geniuses" if it had not bought EMI Group in 2007.

He was speaking at the Nov. 18 Superinvestor conference in Paris and stressed that he was now focused on "the next deal."

"EMI is where EMI is," said the Terra Firma founder. "There is nothing we can do about that.

He added: "We can only do two things now; we can focus on investing the rest of the fund well and we can look after the rest of the portfolio. If we get that right we will raise another fund, if we don't we won't, it is that simple."

Hands said the private equity boom conditions of 2004-2007 were "an anomaly."