To Harken and Halliburton, Add Caterair and Carlyle

· long story short

The full story on the Carlyle Group has yet to be told. The WaPo today adds another chapter, recounting W.’s involvement with a company entitled Caterair in an article called “Bush’s Fancy Financial Footwork”:

During Bush’s four years as a director, Caterair’s problems went from bad to worse to insoluble. Because the company was privately held, there’s no public record of his role in board discussions. But Caterair is in some respects an early example of the sort of financial engineering that has subverted so many prominent companies recently.
Carlyle financed the deal, as was the practice at the time, mostly through heavy borrowing. After the buyout, Caterair had about $464 million in long-term debt, according to a 1993 Wall Street Journal article based on the company’s SEC filings. That article (dug up for me by Post researcher Robert Lyford) noted that Caterair had trimmed that debt load only slightly, to about $426 million, in the four years since it was founded.