Carlyle collects $2.1bn for Asian buyouts

The global buyout firm continues to garner commitments for its third Asian buyout fund, having in June closed a $1bn Asian growth fund.

The Carlyle Group has raised $2.1 billion to date for Carlyle Asia Partners III (CAP III), according to a source familiar with the fundraise.

Carlyle declined to comment.

The firm began marketing the fund in the first quarter of 2008, though the fund's initial target is unclear. Some sources listed the fund as having a $3 billion target, while others said $3.5 billion and still others suggested the firm wanted to raise $4 billion. 

One source said the firm would be happy with a final close anywhere between $2.5 billion and $3 billion, “but will obviously raise as much as it can”.

Carlyle had raised $1.8 billion by August 2008, a source told sister news site PEI Asia.

With the $2.1 billion raised so far, CAP III is already comfortably Asia’s largest fund this year. Other large Asian funds closed in 2009 include Tokyo-based Unison Capital’s third fund, which closed on ¥140 billion ($1.54 billion; €1 billion) in August and MBK Partners' second fund, which closed on $1.5 billion in July.

In June, Carlyle closed its fourth Asian growth fund, Carlyle Asia Growth Partners IV, on $1.04 billion.

Last month, a source confirmed to PEI Asia that Carlyle is also in talks to set up an RMB fund for investments in China. The firm has already also set up a smaller RMB fund to make growth capital investments earlier in the year, the source said.

Carlyle closed its second Asian buyout fund on $1.8 billion in 2006. Its first buyout fund for the region, which closed in 1999, raised $750 million. Carlyle’s Asian buyout group makes large control and strategic minority interests throughout Asia ex-Japan, primarily in Australia, Greater China, India, Korea and Southeast Asia.

The firm’s Japan team manages ¥265.6 billion across two separate Japan-focused funds out of Tokyo.

In addition to this, Carlyle’s Asian growth group manages $2 billion across four funds and its Asian real estate team manages a $410 million fund focused on investments in China, Japan and India. The firm is also in the market for Carlyle Asia Real Estate Partners II.