Carlyle to launch distressed fund

US-based alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group is understood to have plans for a $500m turnaround fund.

Washington-based private equity and alternative asset investment firm The Carlyle Group is understood to be preparing the launch of a new $500m fund to invest in distressed assets in the US.

According to a Reuters news report, the fund will be run by Edward Ewing, a turnaround specialist based in Dallas. No one at Carlyle has commented on whether the fund will launch any time soon.

Turnaround specialists seek to invest in companies with strong business fundamentals whose balance sheets are in poor health. A number of leading US private equity firms including Texas Pacific have been pursuing such transactions for some time. For Carlyle, which runs a range of alternative investment product lines, it would be the first time to set up a vehicle of this type.

There is widespread expectation in the market place that the current economic climate is going to generate significant dealflow for turnaround funds going forward.

In Europe, distressed asset investment specialists remain thin on the ground. Alchemy Partners, the firm led by Jon Moulton, has made a name for itself by a number of “deleveraging” investment plays. London-based Gary Klesch, whose investment boutique Klesch & Co in the past helped bail out struggling corporates such as Eurotunnel, is thought to be out raising a new fund to take advantage of similar opportunities.