It is unwelcome by me anyway. I am sure with everything else going on it will probably not be widely noticed. I think the time of the announcement of this is no surprise as Carlyle like to stay anonymous when possible.

The U.S. private equity fund Carlyle Group is poised to enter the Korean media industry. Hyundai Department Store said Monday its affiliate Hyundai Communications & Network signed a US$160 million investment contract with Carlyle.

HCN is one of the country’s top four cable TV operators with 1.1 million customers and owns stakes in 11 local cable TV operators. With the contract, Carlyle will become the second largest stakeholder in HCN with a 33.5 percent share, following Hyundai Department Store, which holds a 65 percent stake. HCN plans to spend money from its foreign investments on boosting service quality and developing content and a digital network. It said that it will enhance its competitiveness through cooperation with Carlyle’s media and communications subsidiaries in the U.S. and China.

From the Chosun Ilbo

In case anybody is not familiar with the group, here is a little bit about them from the Guardian.

It is hard to imagine an address closer to the heart of American power. The offices of the Carlyle Group are on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC, midway between the White House and the Capitol building, and within a stone’s throw of the headquarters of the FBI and numerous government departments. The address reflects Carlyle’s position at the very centre of the Washington establishment, but amid the frenetic politicking that has occupied the higher reaches of that world in recent weeks, few have paid it much attention. Elsewhere, few have even heard of it.

This is exactly the way Carlyle likes it. For 14 years now, with almost no publicity, the company has been signing up an impressive list of former politicians – including the first President Bush and his secretary of state, James Baker; John Major; one-time World Bank treasurer Afsaneh Masheyekhi and several south-east Asian powerbrokers – and using their contacts and influence to promote the group. Among the companies Carlyle owns are those which make equipment, vehicles and munitions for the US military, and its celebrity employees have long served an ingenious dual purpose, helping encourage investments from the very wealthy while also smoothing the path for Carlyle’s defence firms.But since the start of the “war on terrorism”, the firm – unofficially valued at $3.5bn – has taken on an added significance. Carlyle has become the thread which indirectly links American military policy in Afghanistan to the personal financial fortunes of its celebrity employees, not least the current president’s father. And, until earlier this month, Carlyle provided another curious link to the Afghan crisis: among the firm’s multi-million-dollar investors were members of the family of Osama bin Laden.

Maybe they are trying to get a foothold in Korea to be a part of the potential arms buildup in the region.

Advertisements