Carlyle partner quits as chair of Duratek board

9-year relationship ends as DeMars assumes post

December 14, 2004|By Paul Adams | Paul Adams,SUN STAFF

Daniel A. D'Aniello, a founding partner of the Carlyle Group, the high-powered private investment firm in Washington, is stepping down as chairman of Duratek Inc., severing a link between the two companies that dates to Carlyle's 1995 purchase of a controlling interest in the Columbia hazardous waste firm.

Duratek, a provider of technology for the disposal of radioactive waste, said yesterday that retired Adm. Bruce DeMars, former director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, has been named to replace D'Aniello, who has held the post since 1995.

The change marks a milestone for Duratek, whose revenue rose eightfold since Carlyle made its initial $23 million investment. Duratek had sales of $286 million last year, up from $36 million in 1994. The equity investment firm has sold its 42 percent stake in Duratek over the past year.

"Carlyle helped us with good times and bad times, and helped us grow up and graduate," said Robert E. Prince, president and chief executive of Duratek.

Carlyle bought shares of Duratek as part of its $1.3 billion Carlyle Limited Partners II fund, which will cease to exist next September. The 10-year fund has gradually been divesting its investments in companies ranging from the Dr Pepper/Seven Up Bottling Group Inc. to Duratek and other high-tech firms.

In December 2003, Duratek repurchased 151,467 shares of the preferred stock held by Carlyle for $49.2 million, plus $2.4 million in unpaid dividends. The remaining common stock held by Carlyle was sold over the past six months, a company spokeswoman said. Money Duratek borrowed to repurchase the preferred shares will be repaid within 15 months, Prince said.

Duratek shares soared after the share buyback program started. Shares were trading for about $11 a year ago. They closed yesterday at $22.93, up 3 cents.

D'Aniello's position on the board of directors was the last significant link between the two companies.

"It's a 10-year cycle, so it was time for them to go," Price said. "It was a planned exit."

DeMars was responsible for nuclear propulsion on more than 150 ships and submarines, eight land-based research and training reactors and eight nuclear-qualified shipyards. He is a partner in RSD LLC.

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