Carlyle Group Buys Half of Supreme for $500 Million

Because nothing says downtown-NYC-cool like some dusty old white dudes with vested interests in car washes, movie theaters, and insurance companies, streetwear behemoth Supreme sold a 50 percent stake in its business to the Carlyle Group last week for $500 million, according to WWD.

The Carlyle Group — known for past hits like defaulting on $16.6 billion of debt in 2008, investing heavily in the defense industry, and employing George H.W. Bush — bought 50 percent of the company for a reported $500 million, which means they value Supreme at roughly $1 billion, or “just under 10-times their projected earnings.”

Rumors about a partial sale have been swirling since the Louis Vitton collaboration, and due to the heavily-protected nature of Supreme’s If-a-Middle-Finger-Was-an-LLC reputation, the details of this deal were kept under wraps until it was locked in.

“We’re a growing brand, and to sustain that growth we’ve chosen to work with Carlyle, who has the operational expertise needed to keep us on the steady path we’ve been on since 1994,” Supreme founder James Jebbia told BoF. “Working with Carlyle allows us to concentrate on doing what we do best and remain in control of our brand, as we always have.”

But this is where things get tricky for Supreme. The Carlyle Group likes to make money, even if they don’t always do so great at that. And even though Supreme is incredibly profitable, they’ve been historically averse to both increasing their market presence and dealing with authority figures.

But now, 50 percent of Supreme is also Hertz, so who knows what’s next for the Hype Factory.

You can read more about it WWD.

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