Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Carlyle Group's Latest Free Pass

The U.S. State Department slapped sanctions on a round of companies and countries over the sale of Russian helicopters. The Russian manufacturer had dealings with Iran and needed punishment.

But one American owned company, ARINC got a free pass for its role in buying and reselling 22 Russian made troop transporters. ARINC is owned by The Carlyle Group, a private equity underwriter (PEU) known for its strong political and media connections.

Without the waiver, the lucrative sole-sourced deal was potentially in violation of the law. "This was a screw-up," one U.S. official said.

Carlyle previously used one "get out of jail free" card over 24 patient deaths in their LifeCare facility in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. That fact never made the White House Lessons Learned Report, nor did it come up as Carlyle sought to buy huge nursing home provider, ManorCare.

They kept their sale of Standard Aero and Landmark Aviation to Dubai Aerospace super quiet, despite its falling between the Dubai Ports World brouha and the NASDAQ/Dubai Borse uproar.

Carlyle knows how to keep their good name. Priceless insider connections can gloss over what might be a chargeable offense.
"There is a price to be paid for illegally trading with outlaw regimes," Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein (now White House Homeland Security Adviser) said in a statement.
Carlyle rarely suffers for their transgressions.

Update 8-4-11:  ARINC delivered all 22 premium priced helicopters to Iraq.