Carlyle files for $100m IPO

The Washington DC-based private equity firm has finally launched its long-rumoured IPO, after spending the last year diversifying its asset base in preparation.

The Carlyle Group has filed for an initial public offering with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, confirming long-standing rumours that the Washington DC firm was planning to follow some of its private equity peers by tapping the public markets.

Carlyle hopes to raise $100 million via the offering, which is expected to happen in 2012, according to the SEC filing. Pricing and total number of offered shares have not yet been set. JP Morgan, Citi Group and Credit Suisse will underwrite the IPO.

In a statement, the firm indicated that proceeds from the IPO will be used to pay down debt, as well as provide for “general corporate purposes, including general operational needs, growth initiatives, acquisitions and strategic investments and to fund capital commitments to, and other investments in and alongside of, its funds”.

Although Carlyle’s primary business is private equity, the firm has been expanding its investment portfolio over the past year in preparation for the IPO. In June, Carlyle picked up a 55 percent stake in emerging markets equities firm Emerging Sovereign Group. In January, Carlyle acquired Dutch fund of funds AlpInvest from Dutch pension funds PPMG and APG. The firm also acquired minority stakes in Australian online foreign exchange payments company OzForex in November, as well as financing the North Carolina community banking merger between FNB United and Bank of Granite.

Carlyle has also expanded into real estate and infrastructure, having hired former Greenhill & Co Real Estate Capital Advisory group principal Alok Gaur and acquiring California water utility Park Water in December.

The firm joins publicly traded peers Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, The Blackstone Group and Apollo Global Management by choosing to list on the public markets.

According to today's SEC filing, Carlyle generated just under $2.8 billion in revenues in 2010. The firm has approximately $153 billion in assets under management across 86 funds and 49 fund of fund vehicles, according to its website. It was founded in 1987 by William Conway, Daniel D’Aniello and David Rubenstein.

Carlyle could not be reached for comment at press time.