Sunday, February 04, 2007

Carlyle’s Odd Acquisitions Include Shaped Charges & Sewage Treatment

The Carlyle Group continues its worldwide gobbling of desirable businesses. It must do something with those billions flowing in on a monthly basis (now up to $46.9 billion in private equity). Two recent announcements speak to high profile issues in Iraq. One involves the over abundant shaped explosive charges wreaking havoc and the other wastewater treatment, sorely lacking in the Middle East’s newest democracy.

Little did I know, there is a long history of shaped charges, much of it American. The Carlyle Group just purchased Titan Specialties which uses such devices to unleash oil deposits from the ground. If the same techniques are used in the Middle East, one might not have to go far to find these destructive explosives.

While U.S. outsourcing to private contractors for Iraqi infrastructure is front and center, the practice is a bit more hidden at home. Carlyle’s recent acquisition of Synagro Technologies puts it in position to meet municipal wastewater needs domestically and expand its services abroad.

Let’s hope we don’t need Stuart Bowen, Inspector General of the Office of Iraq Reconstruction to sift between what’s waste and wastewater. Should Synagro and Titan team up for significant work in Iraq, should Mr. Bowen be careful? Might he find a shaped charge in his hands?

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