Terra Firma To Appeal Technical Aspects of Citigroup Case
— Terra Firma has filed for leave to appeal and will challenge technical aspects of its trial with Citigroup, Private Equity News reported on Tuesday. Terra Firma will not challenge the verdict. In November the private equity firm lost in the case brought against Citigroup, the advisor and lender in its 2007 acquisition of EMI Music, in which it alleged it had been mislead by Citigroup.
The firm of Boies, Schiller and Flexner has filed a notice of appeal, Terra Firma disclosed in a statement.
Reports of Terra Firma Imminently Unloading EMI Are ‘Bizarre’
— Both EMI and Terra Firma have dismissed reports in the U.K. press that Citigroup is on a fast track to take over EMI. The Guardian had reported that “EMI could be handed over to Citigroup within weeks” and quoted a “well-placed Citi source” as saying Terra Firma chief Guy Hands “has to cede control and admit defeat” because investors will not put any more money into EMI.
“The suggestion that this so called ‘handing over of the keys’ could be happening in the next few weeks is bizarre, it really does not make sense,” a Terra Firma source told MusicWeek. “We have not been given any indication that anything will happen before March and there is no reason to believe that won’t be the case.”
Terra Firma-EMI’s He-Said-She-Said Relationship
— Still don’t know what to believe in the Terra Firma-Citigroup-EMI drama? Conflicting statements in Private Equity News are typical of the “he said, she said” aspect to the companies’ relationship.
One source says EMI is expected to breach its debt covenants at the end of March, and because Terra Firma investors are “unlikely” to invest further in EMI, Citi could take over the music company after a 90-day grace period. On the other hand, a difference source says EMI’s performance for the quarter ended December 31, 2010 was strong enough to avoid default on its breach covenants, which would mean no additional equity would need to be raised from Terra Firma investors.
WMG’s Revenue Estimates Drop
— Citing declining CD sales that are “showing little or no signs of reversal,” Needham & Company lowered its revenue estimates for Warner Music Group but maintained its “buy” rating and its price target of $8.50. Needham dropped its estimate for Warner’s fiscal first quarter (ended Dec. 31) revenue by 19% and also lowered its fiscal full-year revenue by 5%. Warner shares ended Monday down less than a percent at $5.33.
Moontast Social Commerce Site Launches Artist Storefront
— Social commerce startup Moontoast has introduced Moontoast Impulse, a new tool that allows any artist to set up a storefront to allow fans to listen, share and buy from the artist’s Facebook page. Unlike most commerce driven by Facebook, Moontoast Impulse keeps the customer at Facebook and does not direct traffic to another storefront to complete the transaction.
There is no sign-up cost for Moontoast Impulse. The service takes 15% of revenue generated by users’ sales. Since the point of Facebook is to share with friends, Moontoast has created a sharing function that allows a fan’s friends to listen to a track in an embedded player.
RapidShare Share fighting For ‘Free Speech’
— In an interview with Mashable, RapidShare spokesperson Daniel Raimer talks about why Swiss file-hosting site RapidShare hired a lobbyist to represent the company in Washington. He brought up free speech issues and mentioned the company’s dispute with some credit card companies. But the most striking part of the interview was his confidence that RapidShare would be able to work with both lawmakers and the content industry.
“There are plenty of reasonable people in the content industry. Those people know that a file hosting company that is truly dedicated to fight online infringement may be of high value to them. We therefore want to convince people in Washington and in the content industry that we are such a legitimate company. I would be surprised if anyone in Washington or anyone within the content industry is going to have an issue with that.”