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Carlyle's Cable Muscle

3:55 PM -- BOSTON -- The Cable Show -- The Carlyle Group LLC appears to be more switched on to cable investment opportunities than it is in the mobile space right now.

Case in point, the controversial investment group led a $100 million round in Avail-TVN this week. (See Avail-TVN Will Buy Again, CEO Says.) "Those guys are getting really aggressive," my colleague Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor of Light Reading Cable, noted as we walked the hall at the Southside Boston convention center Wednesday morning.

Carlyle has also bought into set-top maker Sagemcom SAS and CommScope Inc. relatively recently. It also sold Insight Communications Co. Inc. to Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX). (See Time Warner Cable Splashes Out $3B for Insight , Carlyle Completes CommScope Buy and Carlyle Completes Sagemcom Deal.)

Even with the massive number of industries that this group is involved with, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that cable is a favorite: The group has been trading in the cable business since it bought and sold Dutch cable operator Casema NV last decade.

What is surprising is that mobile doesn't seem to be more of a direct focus for the group. Carlyle grabbed messaging firm Syniverse Technologies LLC for $2.6 billion in October 2010 but hasn't made many major mobile moves since.

Of course, the convergence of its cable interests with mobile technology from infrastructure providers like CommScope is one way Carlyle gets in the wireless game. There's certainly opportunity for Avail-TVN to add mobile capabilities to its portfolio over time too.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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