Friday, November 21, 2008

Carlyle Group Looking to Change its Luck

What could be luckier than owning part of The Bank of Ireland? Carlyle, a politically connected private equity underwriter (PEU), is in heated discussions to buy up to 40% of the bank for $2.5 billion. The Irish government already guaranteed bank liabilities of 370 billion pounds.

The Emerald Isle has leprechauns guarding pots of gold at the bottom of rainbows. While the sun isn't shining yet in our global economy, The Carlyle Group sees better days ahead. When the sun comes out, the gold hunt begins. How many little people will be slaughtered in process?

The big money boys don't like a level playing field, as they pursue super profits. Carlyle expects 30% annual returns. The Bank of Ireland can access cheap central bank money. Will they pass that through to Carlyle? Will the PEU gain a captive bank, one that can fund their deals?

Carlyle needs their luck to change after Carlyle Capital Corporation, BlueWave Partners, and SemGroup failed and the Russian firm dropped their $3.5 billion bid for steel maker John Maneely. Will Irish equity improve their luck? It may have turned with $153 million in U.S. taxpayer funded capital for affiliate Boston Private Financial Holdings. Which streak will continue?