Carlyle rakes in $5bn for US fund

The global buyout firm has reached a $5bn first close for its fourth US buyout fund less than three months after the launch of fundraising.

Washington D.C.-based The Carlyle Group held a first close of its fourth US buyout fund on $5 billion (€3.8 billion) just before Christmas, according to a source close to the firm.

Carlyle Partners IV LP has a target of $6.5 billion, increased from the original target of $5 billion at the end of last year after meeting keen demand among investors, said the source.

Investors in the first close included the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), UBS AG and the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois.

The fourth fund is a successor to Carlyle’s $3.9 billion third vehicle, which was raised in 2000 and is approximately 90 percent invested.

The current fundraising has been lifted by reports at the end of last year that the firm had returned $6.6 billion in cash to investors over the previous 18 months.

Carlyle is also in the process of raising a successor to its €1 billion European buyout fund, Carlyle Europe Partners, which was launched in 1998. The second fund has a €2 billion target and is expected to hold a final close in the first quarter of 2005.

Carlyle is one of the first of the global buyout groups to be moving along the fundraising trail this year. Others expected to raise mega-funds in 2005 include Warburg Pincus, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, The Blackstone Group, CVC Capital Partners and BC Partners. Apax Partners is also on the fundraising trail with a €4 billion target.