LPs in 'gigantic' emerging markets push

Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein said during a conference in New York that interest in developing economies has greatly accelerated.

Investors in the private equity asset class are expressing huge enthusiasm for committing capital to the major emerging markets, David Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group, said today at an industry event.

Limited partners are undergoing “a gigantic shift in focus” toward private equity opportunities in developing markets, he said at the Latin America Venture Capital Association Summit and Investor Roundtable in New York today.

Rubenstein’s comments were part of an onstage interview in which he gave further context to Carlyle’s three recent announced investments in Brazil. He was quick to draw a distinction between the more developed economies within the “emerging markets” category, such as China and Brazil, and the many less developed countries. Rubenstein said most investor interest was being directed at the major markets, including India.

David Rubenstein

Since January, Carlyle has announced three major deals in Brazil: a $125 million investment in Scalina, the country’s largest hosiery and lingerie manufacturer; the acquisition of Qualicorp, a consultant and management firm for private health insurance plans in which Carlyle invested a reported $1 billion; and the purchase of a 63.6 percent state in CVC Brasil Operadora e Agencia de Viagens, a major operator of tours and travel services in Brazil and throughout Latin America.

Last year, Carlyle’s short-lived Mexico City investment team became an independent entity called EMX Capital.

The LAVCA Summit is taking place today and tomorrow.