Closes: Carlyle Holds Final Close on Asia Fund –

The Carlyle Group on Dec. 31 held a final close on $750 million for its first fund focused on Asia.

The fund, Carlyle Asia Partners LP, was launched in June of 1998 (BUYOUTS April 20, 1998, p. 1) and held a first close on $450 million in March (BUYOUTS April 5, 1999, p. 10).

The Asia fund is part of Carlyle’s effort to globablize its private equity investing-which has taken the firm into Europe as well-and increase its capital under management.

Jim Griffin, a Carlyle vice president who is raising the fund, said the Asia fund’s focus is opportunistic in nature, but generally will not stray from Carlyle’s typical areas of interest, which include telecommunications, industrial manufacturing, aerospace and health care transactions.

In fact, the firm closed its first Asian deal in November, investing in Taiwan Broadband Communications Co., which was formed to acquire and manage cable television systems in Taiwan on behalf of Carlyle Asia Partners. After its formation, the company immediately acquired a cable property in Taiwan, valuing the entire deal at $94 million, with Carlyle committing $53 million in equity.

Griffin noted that other deals are “in the hopper,” but declined to discuss them.

Although Carlyle hoped to wrap the fund sooner, Griffin said he is pleased because the fund reached its target. “All funds are raised slower than their managers would like,” he added.

Griffin declined to name investors in the Asia fund, but said the group is made up of investors in other Carlyle funds as well as new investors.

Carlyle is one of several groups-including Chase Capital Partners, H&Q Asia Pacific, Newbridge Asia, Lombard Investments, Patricof & Co. Ventures and Prime Enterprises-either raising or deploying Asia funds.