Joan Collins THE Carlyle Group, which will formalise its purchase of the travel division of Iberostar for 900 million euros later this month, is the one of the main investment groups in the world dedicated to acquiring companies and properties (“private equity”). It was created in 1987 in Washington by ex politicians of the American government and renowned entrepreneurs. Among these founding entrepreneurs were William E. Conway Jr., Daniel A. d'Aniello and David M. Rubenstein. The objective of the group is to generate outstanding returns for their investors. “We do this by employing a prudent, disciplined and tested approach to investment”, according to sources at the headquarters of the Carlyle Group in Spain. The company has more than 650 employees in 14 countries, among them Spain. It has 25 offices in 14 countries and during its existence it has made investments worth 73'200 million dollars. The sectors in which it specialises are: industry, aerospace, the car industry, transport, the consumer and commerce sectors, energy, electricity, health, technology, business services, telecommunications and the media. The capital and assets of the Carlyle Group are composed of 918 investors in 55 countries (in North America, Asia and Europe), public and private pension funds, banks, insurance companies and private investors. George Soros is to be found among these private investors, according to analysts. The Carlyle Group has been operating in Europe since 1997, and in Spain since 2001. In Europe, with its “buy out” strategy (acquiring control of a company) it operates through two funds: Carlyle Group Partners I and II, with total assets of 3'200 million dollars. One of the fields where it centres its attention is on family companies which want to extend their operations or consolidate their position. It was in this field that the Carlyle Group found Iberostar, controlled by the Fluxa family, both parties being interested in a successful conclusion to the purchase operation.