Carlyle's Carve-Outs Are Back in Fashion

In buying pieces of conglomerates, the firm returns to its roots
Taking an auto-paint unit off DuPont's hands helped Carlyle stay ahead of its rivals Chainsaw: Hugh Threlfall/Alamy

Carlyle Group, which agreed on Aug. 30 to purchase DuPont’s auto-paint unit for $4.9 billion, has become the most active U.S. private equity buyer this year in part by employing the 25-year-old strategy that helped fuel its growth: taking over unwanted businesses from large companies. “We love carve-outs,” says Greg Ledford, who led the Carlyle team that worked on the DuPont deal. “There’s always brain damage pulling businesses out of large corporations. But if done right, there’s also a lot of value to be had.”

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