Carlyle JV to acquire $5bn in shipping assets

Carlyle, alongside a Hong Kong maritime investment firm, will invest $900m in equity over the next five years in the hopes of capturing demand from Chinese state-owned companies.

The Carlyle Group has formed a joint venture with Hong Kong-based firm Tiger Group Investments to acquire more than $5 billion in shipping and container assets.

The joint venture will focus on “bringing together Chinese shipbuilders, lenders and state-owned companies to support China’s desire to increase the amount of cargo it controls”, according to a statement. In addition to shipping and container assets, the company will focus on acquiring dry bulk and tanker vessels.

Over the next five years, the company will committ up to $900 million in equity for the aquisitions. Carlyle said in a statement that Carlyle Partners V and Carlyle Asia Partners III funds would provide Carlyle’s contribution, but the firm did not disclose the size of the committments from those funds.

Tiger’s investments are focused on the maritime sector, and its portfolio company Seaspan Corporation will invest in container vessels purchased by the new company, according to a statement. The joint venture is being formed in partnership with Seaspan, the Washington Family, Gerry Wang and Graham Porter, Tiger’s chairman.

Carlyle also announced last week that the firm is opening an office in Lima as part of its partnership with Peruvian financial serivces company Credicorp.

Tiger Group has $7 billion in assets under management. New York-based Carlyle Group manages $97.7 billion of assets through 78 funds in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Last year, JPMorgan Asset Management held a first close on $545 million for a fund dedicated to investments in the shipping sector. And a London-based hedge fund called M2M Management also launched Global Maritime Assets, distressed vessel acquistion fund with a  target of $400 million two years ago.