Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Carlyle Group Sheds Wall Street English for Big Profit

Champagne must be flowing at 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue. The Carlyle Group stemmed a series of bankruptcies and write downs with a profitable partial flip.

The Carlyle Group purchased Wall Street Institute (WSI) from Laureate Education in February 2005. SEC filings state Carlyle paid $40 million for the English language training firm.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

Pearson, an international education and information company, said Wednesday that it acquired Wall Street English from parent company Wall Street Institute, which is majority-owned by global private equity firm The Carlyle Group, for $145 million in cash.

Wall Street English is China's provider of premium English language training to adults, it said.

Carlyle sold part of an affiliate for 3.4 times what it paid for the whole kitten caboodle. That's a sweet $105 million profit. It's a nice break from SemGroup's bankruptcy due to hedging contracts and an 85% scalping on Freescale Semiconducter's valuation.

While other affiliates implode, Carlyle cashed in one winner, teaching Chinese people English. Will the remnants of WSI now do the opposite, teach Americans the Chinese tongue?

The Chinese symbol for crisis combines danger and opportunity. The Carlyle Group aims to milk the current financial crisis for big gains. From Boston Private's $153 million TARP money to infrastructure spending to Treasury's public-private partnerships, Carlyle intends to profit. A 30% ROI will do.