Carlyle Group cuts minimum investment to $50,000 in new buyout fund

NEW YORK, Wed Mar 13, 2013 — Carlyle Group LP will now allow people to invest as little as $50,000 in its new buyout fund, a regulatory filing showed, as private equity firms look to widen their customer base in search of new sources of funding.

The lowered entry point is down from Carlyle’s earlier minimum investment of between $5 million and $20 million, according to a filing made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in January.

The opportunity to invest in the new Carlyle buyout fund will be available to “accredited investors,” who are defined as having a net worth in excess of $1 million, or income in excess of $200,000 in each of the two preceding years prior to the investment.

The new closed-end fund – known as CPG Carlyle Private Equity Fund LLC – has signed up Central Park Advisers LLC as investment adviser, which means Carlyle will not directly deal with individual investors.

Carlyle’s competitors, KKR & Co, Blackstone and Apollo Global Management LLC have already launched mutual funds targeting retail investors through their institutional asset management platforms. Those funds will invest in credit products.

Carlyle, however, will be the first big private equity firm to allow relatively small investors to invest directly in buyout funds.

Nasdaq was in talks with Carlyle to go private: source

NEW YORK, Mon Feb 11, 2013 — Nasdaq OMX Group was recently in talks with private equity firm Carlyle Group to take the transatlantic exchange operator private, but the talks broke down due to price disagreements, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Carlyle initiated the discussions and was in early stages of due diligence, when disagreements emerged, bringing the talks to an end, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

The talks, first reported by Fox Business Network, were held about three weeks ago.

Nasdaq spokesman Joseph Christinat said the company does not comment on market rumors or speculation. A spokesman for Carlyle declined to comment.

Shares of Nasdaq were up 3.4 percent at $30.47 early on Monday afternoon.

Sunoco, Carlyle in deal to save Philadelphia refinery

NEW YORK, Mon Jul 2, 2012 – Sunoco Inc. and private equity firm Carlyle Group LP  have reached an agreement to keep the largest refinery on the East Coast in operation, sources familiar with the situation said on Monday.

Terms of the deal will be announced at a news briefing later Monday morning, the sources said. The two companies have been in exclusive talks since April over forming a venture that would save the 335,000-barrel-per-day Philadelphia plant after Sunoco said it would have to sell or close it by August.

Carlyle would become the second white knight to rescue an imperiled refinery on the U.S. East Coast, where diminishing demand, high crude costs and tough foreign competition have hurt profit margins for years.

Earlier this year, Delta Air Lines Inc. bought the 185,000-BPD Trainer refinery, located several miles away, from Phillips 66.

An agreement between Sunoco and Carlyle would help temper fears that fuel supplies could run short during the peak summer period – driving up prices and stirring concern at a local and national level.

It would also effectively mark Sunoco’s exit from the refining sector, ending the company’s over century-long tradition in the region.

Sunoco and Carlyle said in a release to reporters earlier on Monday that they would hold a briefing later in the day, including include speakers from the two companies as well as Pennsylvania Representative Bob Brady, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and Leo Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers Union.

Carlyle IPO values company as much as $7.61 billion

NEW YORK, Mon Apr 16, 2012 — Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP said it is looking to raise between $701.5 million to $762.5 million in its initial public offering, valuing the company at as much as $7.61 billion, as it presses on with its plans to catch up with rivals Blackstone, KKR and Apollo.

Most private equity firms haven’t fared well in the public markets. Blackstone Group, the world’s largest private equity firm, has lost about half its market value since it went public in 2007.

Last Thursday, Oaktree Capital Group LLC, a private equity firm focused on debt investments, sold fewer-than-expected shares in an IPO that was priced at the bottom of its expected range. It shares ended trading on Friday down 3.5 percent from their IPO price.

Oaktree’s IPO is viewed by some investors as a litmus test for a public offering from Carlyle Group, which is expected to kick off its IPO roadshow this week.

The IPO market, which has recovered from last year, has seen volatility in the past week. Solar power plant developer BrightSource Energy Inc. withdrew its IPO citing adverse market conditions, whereas Oaktree Capital Management backed aluminum processor Aleris Corp postponed its plans to go public.

Carlyle reports bumper 2011 profit ahead of IPO

WASHINGTON, Thu Mar 15, 2012 – Carlyle Group LP, a private equity firm with $147 billion of assets under management that has filed for an IPO, said it returned a record $19 billion to investors in 2011 and reported a 152 percent year-on-year jump in distributable earnings.

In an update to its IPO registration document filed with regulators on Thursday, Carlyle gave earnings figures for full-year 2011, boasting major gains in realized investments thanks to asset sales, as the group exited many of its investments.

In 2011, Carlyle distributed about $19 billion to its fund investors, up from $8 billion in 2010. As of the end of 2011, its buyout, credit and real estate funds collectively had about $22 billion in capital not yet committed – so-called dry powder.

Economic net income, an accounting measure of the firm’s profitability that takes into account the mark-to-market valuation of its assets, dropped from $1 billion in 2010 to $833.1 million in 2011 on choppy financial markets.

But stripped of paper profits and losses, 2011 earnings were much stronger. Distributable earnings came in at $864.4 million, more than twice the distributable earnings of $342.5 million in 2010.

Most of that increase was a result of gains in its buyout business, although its capital markets unit also contributed.

The source of distributable earnings in publicly listed private equity firms and those that are about to float has been a focal point of scrutiny for their fund investors who worry that reliance on management fees rather than carried interest – the fund manager’s cut of investment profit – may result in them being overcharged and sidelined in favor of common shareholders.

Bain, Carlyle, Pamplona eye TI Automotive, sources report

DETROIT ― Bain Capital and Carlyle Group are among three private equity firms bidding for auto parts supplier TI Automotive in an auction that could fetch around $1.5 billion, those familiar with the matter said.

London-based buyout firm Pamplona Capital Management is also involved in the auction for TI Automotive, with final bids for the business expected sometime in October, these people said.

TI Automotive, which makes fuel tanks as well as braking and powertrain components for cars and trucks, has been exploring a sale of the company since early this year but the process has been slowed down by the volatility in the financing markets in recent months, the people said.

Financing remains relatively cheap for companies with strong credit ratings. But private equity deals typically need leveraged loans and high-yield bonds — the riskier form of lending that carries some of the highest interest rates and often is the first financing to be withdrawn when credit tightens.

Wall Street banks are becoming more selective about what financing deals they commit to or stiffening lending terms, making buyout deals like TI Automotive more costly for buyers and therefore limiting their ability to pay.

TI Automotive is expected to wait until markets recover before setting a final bid deadline sometime in October, two of the people said.

The company has estimated annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of around $250 million and its enterprise value is seen in the range of $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion, people familiar with the matter told Reuters previously.

TI Automotive, which is headquartered in the United States but chartered in Britain, swapped most of its debt to equity and slashed costs under the British equivalent of bankruptcy during the recession. After the debt-for-equity conversion completed under Chief Executive Bill Kozyra, the company is owned by a diverse group of shareholders led by hedge funds.

Representatives for TI Automotive were not immediately available for comment. Representatives for Bain, Carlyle and Pamplona declined to comment.

Carlyle, meanwhile, is also interested in another U.S. auto parts supplier Cooper Standard, which is also considering a sale of itself and competes with TI Automotive in the fluid system segment, one of the people said.

Reuters reported in August that Cooper Standard has hired JPMorgan Chase and Lazard Ltd. to look for a buyer more than a year after emerging from bankruptcy. The company later confirmed the sale process.

Cooper Standard, which makes body sealing systems and fluid handling systems for the automotive industry, has also attracted interest from private equity firms, people familiar with the matter said. The company is valued at more than $1.5 billion, the people said.

TI Automotive and Cooper Standard are the world’s two largest suppliers of systems that control, sense and deliver fluids and vapors in vehicles. But TI has greater exposure to the fast-growing Asian markets, drawing roughly a quarter of its revenue from China and other Asian markets.