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Carlyle Group Sets Sights On Battered Banks

Free Internet Press – With the leveraged-buyout business on life support, major private-equity firms such as the Carlyle Group are taking a closer look at the battered banking sector as a way to make money for their clients.

Last September, Washington, D.C.-based Carlyle invested $75 million in Boston Private Financial Holdings. Last month, it was part of a group that injected $900 million into Florida’s BankUnited. Carlyle was part of a group looking to buy Atlanta, Georgia-based Silverton Bank earlier this month, until regulators decided to liquidate the institution instead.

Private-equity firms have long eyed the financial services industry, but the sector took a back seat over the past two decades as private equity pursued fat returns fueled by leveraged-buyout deals. Until recently, those buyouts helped Carlyle generate an annual net return of 26 percent across the firm..

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