EMI's outgoing chief Eric Nicoli has assured employees that the business is in safe hands with its new owner, the Terra Firma equity house.

In an internal letter issued to EMI's artists, writers and staff, Nicoli presented a promising future for the company. "The new board is a strong and experienced one with a track record in transforming businesses for future growth," Nicoli wrote.

"They respect the talents of our artists and employees, and EMI as an iconic, high quality and world-renowned brand," he continued. "They are committed to investing in the business to ensure that it grows both organically and by acquisition. I am absolutely confident that EMI is about to enter an exciting new era of investment and growth."

In the memo, seen by Billboard.biz, Nicoli said he "agreed to step down" with effect from this Friday. Thereafter, he will serve as an advisor to Terra Firma and EMI.

"I remain, as always, totally committed to this business and to the people connected with it," he explained. "In my new role, I will be working hard to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for EMI artists, songwriters and staff to the company's new ownership."

Earlier today, EMI and Terra Firma confirmed the departure of Nicoli, CEO of EMI Group and EMI Music, and his colleague Martin Stewart, CFO of EMI Group and EMI Music.

Terra Firma managing directors Chris Roling, Ashley Unwin and Julie Williamson will assume key roles overseeing EMI's development.

Terra Firma CEO Guy Hands, meanwhile, has updated EMI staff on the next stage of its EMI takeover. "Over the coming weeks Chris, Ashley, Julie and myself will be meeting and working with existing management to finalize our plans and confirming the best way in which we can serve our two key stakeholders: our artists and our customers," Hands wrote in a note distributed to EMI staff.

"We will also ensure that we visit and meet with people at key locations across the EMI network of offices," he added. "It is our expectation to be able to communicate our plans for the business during October. This communication will outline: Our vision and strategy for the publishing and recording businesses; any changes to the organization structure and management teams; our key priorities going forward."

EMI is expected to de-list from the London Stock Exchange on Sept. 18. Stock in the company was trading slightly down this afternoon at 267.50 pence.