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Hands loses fraud suit against Citigroup

Judge Rackoff describes suit as "a catfight between two rich companies".

Owner of British private equity firm Terra Firma, Guy Hands' fraud law suit against the American banking group Citigroup was dismissed after a mere four hours of hearing by a New York court on Thursday.

Hands had alleged Citi of "fraudulent misrepresentation" in the £4.2bn buy-out Terra Firma undertook of the bankrupt record label EMI in a 2007 auction.

Judge Rakoff, who presided over the case, described the suit between Hands and David Wormsley of Citibank as "a catfight between two rich companies".

He added that the law suit was the best-argued case ever brought before him.

"We are disappointed that the jury found that we did not prove that we relied on misrepresentations from Citi which caused a loss to our investors," said Terra Firma in a statement.

Citigroup which responded through a statement of its own said, "We are very pleased that the jury reached a unanimous verdict confirming what we have said from the beginning: that Citi and David Wormsley treated Terra Firma with honesty and integrity in the EMI transaction."