(Adds details on settlement and background on case)
By Greg Roumeliotis
Aug 29 Carlyle Group LP has agreed to pay
$115 million to settle a lawsuit accusing it of conspiring with
other buyout firms not to outbid each other on some takeovers
that occurred prior to the financial crisis, a person familiar
with the matter said on Friday.
Carlyle was the only private equity firm among those still
facing trial not to have settled. It brings the total amount
buyout firms have agreed to pay to settle the leveraged buyout
collusion charges to $590.5 million.
Like its peers, Carlyle did not admit to any wrongdoing as
part of the settlement, the person said, asking not to be
identified ahead of any official announcement.
Washington, D.C.-based Carlyle declined to comment.
The money will go to some shareholders of companies that
were acquisition targets for private equity during the leveraged
buyout boom that predated the 2008 financial crisis.
In a December 2007 lawsuit, private equity firms were
accused of conspiring to drive down takeover prices and reduce
competition by following "club rules," often teaming up on
buyouts and providing quid pro quos to influence each other's
The lawsuit covers eight buyouts in which the firms
allegedly agreed not to "jump," or outbid, each other after
buyouts were announced.
Carlyle was one of 11 private equity firms originally sued.
Earlier this month, Blackstone Group LP, KKR & Co LP
and TPG Capital LP disclosed in a court filing they
agreed to pay $325 million to settle the lawsuit.
Last month, Silver Lake Partners LP settled with the
plaintiffs for $29.5 million. In June, Goldman Sachs Group Inc
and Bain Capital Partners LLC settled for $67 million and
$54 million, respectively.
U.S. District Judge William Young in Boston will consider
preliminary approval of the accords at a Sept. 4 hearing.
Carlyle's challenge to the class action status of the lawsuit
had been scheduled to be heard on the same date.
Apollo Global Management LLC, Providence Equity
Partners Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Thomas H. Lee
Partners LP all won bids to be dismissed as defendants in the
In one case, soon after a KKR-led group in July 2006 agreed
to buy hospital chain HCA Inc, a Blackstone executive allegedly
wrote that the $32.1 billion price "represents good value and is
a shame we let KKR get away with highway robbery."
In another case, after a Blackstone-led group in September
2006 beat out KKR to buy Freescale Semiconductor Ltd for
$17.5 billion, Blackstone President Hamilton James emailed KKR
co-founder George Roberts that he would "much rather" work
together, and that "in opposition we can cost each other a lot
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Lisa
Shumaker and Leslie Adler)