Carlyle tech fund makes quick flip

Carlyle’s European technology fund has made 3x money on media infrastructure company Inmedia 15 months after acquisition.

Washington DC-headquartered The Carlyle Group has announced the sale of the broadcast and media infrastructure company Inmedia Communications to transmission services company Arqiva in a deal valued at £68.5 million (€100 million; $120 million).

Sources close to the firm told PEO that Carlyle Europe Venture Partners made three times their original investment and an IRR of 150 percent on the deal.

It was a perfect fit for the kind of deals we wanted to do with the tech fund, with strong buyout characteristics and some upside

Bruno Mourgue d’Algue, associate director, The Carlyle Group

Inmedia provides satellite uplinking and support services to the broadcast and carrier markets, including major UK broadcasters such as Sky.

Carlyle acquired the company in April 2004 in a leveraged buyout valued at £34 million. Bruno Mourgue d’Algue, an associate director with the firm, told PEO in an interview: “It was a perfect fit for the kind of deals we wanted to do with the tech fund, with strong buyout characteristics and some upside. The company had long-term contracts with visible cashflows, and there was strong growth in the number of channels it served.”

The firm backed Inmedia in its acquisition of Cable and Satellite Transmissions Limited in January 2005, and approached Macquarie Group, which owns a 54 percent stake in Arqiva, with a view to a follow up acquisition.

However, the Australian group expressed an interest in acquiring Inmedia instead. “We decided it was a good fit and that we would sell at the right price,” said Mourgue d’Algue.

This is the third exit in a year for Carlyle’s European technology fund. Last year the fund sold the online business travel service Egencia to IAC/InteractiveCorp and in April it sold software company Apama to Progress Software.

The fund’s most recent investment was the acquisition of French semiconductor metrology equipment and scientific instrument manufacturer Cameca in April.