Carlyle and Fosun to launch private equity fund in China

The two companies signed an agreement in Shanghai on Wednesday to establish a strategic relationship, under which Carlyle and Fosun will jointly sponsor and manage a yuan fund to invest in high-growth companies, according to a statement.

Carlyle and Fosun, run by influential tycoon Guo Guangchang, who was ranked by Forbes as China’s 20th richest person in 2009, plan to launch the fund with an initial investment of $100 million from both Carlyle and Fosun. The fund will be co-branded in the name of Carlyle and Fosun.

The two companies will also seek to raise capital from local Chinese investors for subsequent yuan-denominated funds and make co-investments globally, the statement said.

Global buyout firms such as Carlyle and the Blackstone Group are seeking partnerships in order to launch local yuan funds in the hope that they can carry out deals more quickly and easily in China, where approval for major foreign investments is difficult to obtain.

Separately, Carlyle also plans to raise its own China-dedicated private equity fund, which will be registered in Beijing and denominated in yuan, the firm announced in January.

Fosun, with businesses ranging from pharmaceuticals and real estate to steel making, plans to expand investment in consumer-related companies in the next few years, and aims to expand financial-related businesses, Chief Executive Liang Xinjun told Reuters in an interview in November.