Carlyle bosses admit last year was humbling

BOSSES at Carlyle, the world&rsquo;s second-biggest private equity house, said 2008 was a &ldquo;humbling experience&rdquo; and warned operating conditions for portfolio companies will remain tough.<br /><br />In an annual report to investors, the group&rsquo;s three managing directors William Conway, Daniel D&rsquo;Aniello and David Rubenstein said their &ldquo;world changed dramatically&rdquo; after several &ldquo;spectacular&rdquo; years of runaway growth ended in the credit crunch.<br /><br />&ldquo;Transactions will be fewer and smaller. More equity will be required and debt terms will be less favourable. And hold periods will increase while returns will decrease,&rdquo; the firm said.<br /><br />They said since the start of 2008 year three of Carlyle&rsquo;s buyout portfolio companies filed for bankruptcy protection &ndash; German car parts maker Edscha, oil and gas logistics firm SemGroup and Hawaiian Telecom.<br /><br />They did not provide details on how much the failures will cost.<br /><br />But the trio of managing directors said they were able to deploy $12.6bn in equity in 2008.<br /><br />&ldquo;We must deploy our resources to protect the investments we have already made while seeking ways to profit from the extraordinary opportunities that exist,&rdquo; they added.