Manhattan Beach Studios has been sold to The Carlyle Group, a huge private equity investment firm based in Washington, DC, for over $150 million.The first brand new studio built in Southern California in over 50 years, Manhattan Beach has 14 sound stages on its 22-acre setting in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County. The OC, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal and CSI: Miami are among the shows that have been done at the studio, as well as the filming of scenes from Panic Room and Pirates of the Caribbean.For The Carlyle Group, which has had many former government officials on its board including the first President Bush, this is the first move into the entertainment business. But the purchase, which has yet to close, is seen as an investment play rather than a first foothold in Hollywood. Carlyle for the most part specializes in defense industry, government-related and telecommunications investments.Though managed by Raleigh Studios, the owner and now seller of the studio is Oaktree Capital Management, LLC. It bought Manhattan Beach Studios three years ago for just over $100 million.Manhattan Beach is the third area movie studio to be purchased by investment groups in recent years. In 2004, the historic Culver Studios property was bought from Sony Entertainment for $125 million by Studio City Los Angeles. And the Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood was purchased in the same year for around $100 by Global Innovation Partners, a real-estate venture fund located in Menlo Park, Calif.
Written by Jack Egan