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Capital Markets

Carlyle plans for life after Rubenstein

In 17 years the Carlyle Group has become one of the world's biggest private-equity firms, with an impressive track record. Managing director David Rubenstein talks about its deals, its image, succession plans and going public. Joanna Hickey reports.

  David Rubenstein: rejects the view that financial sponsors can play a significant role in industry consolidation.

IF THE CARLYLE Group didn't exist, conspiracy theorists would have invented it. A financially powerful US private investment fund specializing in the defence sector and drawing on the contacts of ex-presidents to find deals and boost returns, it has gathered an almost sinister reputation since it was set up in 1987. That has almost obscured the fact that, with $17.5 billion in funds under management, 23 funds and a global investment team of more than 300 professionals, the Carlyle Group today ranks among the top private-equity investors in the world. It is an industrial scale fund-raiser and buyer and seller of companies. It boasts an impressive investment performance record, including an internal rate of return of 35% a year on realized corporate transactions since its foundation.

And it is now swapping the ex-politicians for businessmen as it pursues its global ambitions.

Carlyle is still best known for its high-profile defence and aerospace investments, with United Defense Industries of the US and former UK Ministry of Defence research unit Qinetiq among its portfolio companies.

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