Former Discovery, Fox exec to advise on media, showbiz investments

Carlyle Group has tapped Peter Liguori as a consultant for its media and telecom team in Gotham as the private equity giant looks to ramp up its presence in showbiz.

Washington, D.C.-based Carlyle is currently unloading its highest profile Hollywood investment, theater chain AMC, to China’s Dalian Wanda Group. It owns a chunk of Nielsen Holdings NV, and its recent deals include selling Insight Communications to Time Warner Cable and acquiring mobile company Mach.

Liguori, who stepped down last year as chief operating officer of Discovery Communications and was a top exec at Fox before that, sits on the boards of Yahoo, MGM and Topps. He’ll provide Carlyle with strategic advice and a deep Rolodex for acquisitions and exit strategies. The firm likes to pluck industry veterans to join its team and Liguori joins several dozen of them across sectors, but none with his operating background in entertainment.

“Peter is a seasoned executive who has run several important media businesses and understands how to create value. We are pleased to welcome (him),” said James Attwood, Carlyle’s managing director and head of the media group.

“I believe this is a good time to invest in the media sector,” Liguori said. “I am excited to work with Jim and his team given their record of value creation and deep knowledge of media and entertainment.”

For Liguori, the advisory role at Carlyle is a part-time position as he continues to pursue other opportunities in media and showbiz.

Carlyle has invested more than $8 billion of new equity in telecom and media investments globally since 2001, including Le Figaro and Medimedia in France, Casema in the Netherlands and companies in Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Israel, Switzerland, Sweden and the U.K.

Liguori spent 13 years at Fox as prexy and then chairman of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Co. and head of FX Networks. Prior to that, he was veep of consumer marketing at HBO.

Carlyle has a whopping $159 billion of assets under management globally in about 150 different funds across aerospace, defense and government services, retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial technology, business services and transportation, along with media.

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