The Carlyle Group may expand its reach into Southeast Asia with the opening of a Jakarta, Indonesia office, chief operating officer Glenn Youngkin said at Harvard Business School’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Conference last week.
The Jakarta office would improve the firm’s presence in Southeast Asia, he told Private Equity International following the panel. Carlyle already manages several Asian offices in Beijing, Chengdu, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo, according to its website.
Youngkin mentioned the possible Jakarta office while participating in a panel discussion on the general state of the private equity industry, which dovetailed into a conversation about the allure of certain emerging markets.
Although limited partner appetite for more established emerging markets – such as China or Brazil – has grown over the years, that has not necessarily been the case for less developed markets, Youngkin said.
“In order to invest, you need three things – a team, deals and money. The institutional investment community is not wholesale comfortable in the truly developing emerging markets,” he said.
That discomfort must not apply to Southeast Asia, as Carlyle has seen a fair amount of activity in the region as of late. Of the $8 billion in capital Carlyle deployed last year, 16 percent went to Asia, according to a recent earnings call, which also disclosed an interim close on Carlyle Asia Partners IV, which is targeting $3.5 billion.
The firm also completed its first Southeast Asian deal in October when it acquired a 25 percent stake in PT Solusi Tunas Pratama TBK, a publicly traded telecommunications tower operator based in Indonesia, according to a Reuters report at the time. The deal was valued at approximately $100 million.
The timing of the PT Solusi Tunas Pratama deal is interesting considering the departure of Southeast Asia head Anand Balasubrahmanyan earlier that year, according to reports. It is unclear whether Balasubrahmanyan will be replaced.
“In the United States, we have real estate platform, a buyout platform, a growth capital platform, a hedge fund platform in certain hedge fund areas. We don’t have those in, let’s say, Asia or Latin America in all respects,” said co-founder David Rubenstein said in a recent earnings call. “And so we could well do things where we … take advantage of our brand name in a region and build more of a total alternative investment platform there as opposed to just having one or two funds.”