Carlyle Changes Its Stripes
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of BusinessWeek
Posted: February 22nd, 2007
In the two decades since private equity firms first stormed the business world, they've been called a lot of things, from raiders to barbarians. But only [the Carlyle Group] has been tagged in the popular imagination with warmongering, treason, and acting as cold-eyed architects of government conspiracies. Carlyle, founded 20 years ago in the shadow of Washington's power centers, long went about its business far from the public eye. Its ranks were larded with the politically connected, including former Presidents, Cabinet members, even former British Prime Minister John Major. It used its partners' collective relationships to build a lucrative business buying, transforming, and selling companies -- particularly defense companies that did business with governments. Carlyle's radical makeover has turned the firm into the biggest fund-raising juggernaut the private equity world has ever seen. By the end of this year it expects to have an unprecedented $85 billion in investor commitments under management, up sixfold from 2001 and more than any other firm. [Founder David] Rubenstein sees the total swelling to as much as $300 billion by 2012. Make no mistake -- Carlyle is already massive. It owns nearly 200 companies that generate a combined $68 billion in revenue and employ 200,000 people. Last year it bought a new company approximately once every three days and sold one almost once a week -- all while dabbling in increasingly esoteric investments. Since its founding in 1987 it has generated annualized after-fee returns of 26%, compared with the industry average in the mid-teens.
Note: With former presidents including George H.W. Bush and many other top world politicians helping to sway huge military contracts, could this be considered a form of insider trading? Those 26% yearly returns are placing our tax monies in the hands of individuals and companies that are already among the wealthiest in the world. For lots more on manipulation of your tax money, click here. And for a Washington Post article showing Osama Bin Laden's brother met with George H.W. Bush at a Carlyle meeting one day before 9/11, click here.