Thursday, June 15, 2006

Da Vinci Code Meets Mission Impossible 69
Carlyle Group Steps Into Asia

The Carlyle Group announced that it had closed Carlyle Asia Growth Partners III (CAGP). The US$668 million fund will continue to invest in growth capital companies across China, India, Japan and Korea.Carlyle also manages Carlyle Asia Venture Partners I (US$159 million) and II (US$164 million), which were launched in 2000 and 2002, respectively. Together, the two earlier funds have invested in 37 companies and realised 12 investments. Globally Carlyle has US$39 billion under management and a focus on buyouts, venture and growth capital, real estate and leveraged finance. Since 1987 Carlyle has invested in 463 transactions. Carlyle has Asian offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Seoul and Tokyo.

The new fund, CAGP III has already closed investments in three companies across the target geographies - US$20 million in Claris Lifesciences, an Indian pharmaceutical company, US$25 million in Credit Orienwise, a Chinese private credit guarantee company and US$27.5 million in Anxin Flooring, a manufacturer and distributor of wood flooring in China.

Carlyle has closed a number of deals in Asia since its focus on the continent was defined and cashed in on some of these. Among Carlyle’s high profile exits in Asia was South Korea’s KorAm Bank in 2000 which it subsequently sold to Citigroup for a price that is considered one of the largest private equity exits in Asia. In Japan in early 2005 Carlyle sold majority stake in Asahi Security to Toyota Industries. In China Carlyle announced two investments in quick succession in the last quarter of 2005: first acquiring a 85% stake in Xugong Group Construction machinery and then a 25% stake in China Pacific Life, China’s 3rd largest life insurance provider.

As in anything involving big bucks, there must be hidden gems within. Meet some of the Carlyles:
GEORGE BUSH Senior (the older one), Former US President & Former Director of CIA
Senior Advisor, Carlyle
FRANK CARLUCCI, Former Secretary of Defense & Deputy Director of CIA
Chairman Emeritus, Carlyle
JAMES BAKER, Former Secretary of State & Secretary of the Treasury
Senior Counselor, Carlyle
RICHARD DARMAN, White House Budget Advisor (Bush & Clinton)
Managing Director, Carlyle
JOHN MAJOR, Former British Prime Minister
Chairman, Carlyle Europe

The brilliant thing is, I am not making any of these up, and it looks like one of the installments for Mission Impossible, probably getting Tom Cruise to play the also-shortish George Stephanopolous, the whistle blower - hmm... should get in touch with my agent... There is a reason why we should pay a lot of money to get the ex-presidents and big wigs to be on the speaker circuit and getting big book deals - so that they don't need to have their integrity or motives being questioned for being lured to join Carlyle.

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