Yesterday the Carlyle Group bought Syniverse for $2.6B just days after buying CommScope for $3.9B.
Syniverse handles about 90% of the US cellular market, taking care of back office stuff like roaming, SMS, and MMS. All growth at Syniverse is global not national. CommScope is a wireless gear and fiber optics company. It's a nice fit.
This isn't Carlyle's first telecom purchase. When it bought Hawaiian Telecom from VZ in 2005 for $1.6B. That ended in bankruptcy in December of 2008. (Not the only VZ property to end up in BK. Right, Fairpoint?) Hawaiian Telecom just emerged from BK with less debt.
Carlyle also bought a bunch of other assets in the last 30 days. Carlyle Group Closes Acquisition Of B&B Hotels For €480 Million on 9/29/2010. Then The Carlyle Group Completes Acquisition Of NBTY, Inc. For $4 Billion on October 1. Carlyle will get a little money back in its coffers after the BankUnited IPO.
The Carlyle Group is has many ties to former US government heavy weights like James Baker II and the first President Bush. Oh, and a bunch of Saudi money. It's an interesting mix.