Carlyle closes 3.5 bln euro European buyout fund: Reuters

(Reuters) — U.S. private equity group Carlyle has closed its fourth European buyout fund, sticking to a so-called hard cap of 3.5 billion euros ($3.87 billion) after attracting far more commitments than it was seeking.

The Carlyle Europe Partners IV, which has already made four investments in groups such as campsite company Homair and frozen food firm Palacios, is seeking to invest 600-700 million euros of its equity this year, Gregor Boehm, managing director and co-head at Carlyle Europe, said.

It will likely continue to focus on companies from sectors such as industrials, branded products, telecoms and business services, he added.

“The ideal equity cheque for each investment will be 125 to 275 million euros from the fund,” Boehm said.

“But together with co-investments from our investors the total equity investment can be up to 1 billion euros and the enterprise value (deal value including debt), even up to 2 billion euros,” he said, adding that Carlyle is currently looking at an investment of such a size.

In total, roughly 140 investors or so-called limited partners have invested in the Carlyle Europe Partners IV, with more money coming from sovereign wealth funds than in the previous fund, Carlyle Europe Partners III, which was launched in 2006 at 5.4 billion euros.

Some of Carlyle’s investments – its first Europe-focused fund was a 1 billion euro fund in 1998 – have included Sweden’s largest cable television firm Com Hem, Austrian machinery maker Andritz and French building materials group Materis.

The buyout fund remains invested in groups like French telecoms company Altice, Spanish testing group Applus , German chemicals group H.C. Starck and Dutch-based information group Nielsen. ($1 = 0.9054 euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze; editing by Susan Thomas)