Carlyle IPO Not Expected Until 2012

Today’s big non-news event comes from the Carlyle Group.

The very acquisitive PE firm plans to file papers for an IPO in late 2011. This means a stock sale may not occur until the following year, or 2012, according to Bloomberg News.

Carlyle has long been expected to go public. In 2007, the PE firm planned to launch an IPO but opted instead to sell a 7.5% stake to Mubadala Development Co., an arm of the Abu Dhabi government.

Now, the PE firms plans to use proceeds from the IPO to invest in its funds and to continue to expand in corporate buyouts, Bloomberg said.

Michael Kim, Sandler O’Neill’s associate director of research, said he wasn’t surprised by Carlyle’s IPO plans. “They are looking for permanent capital to build out the franchise, a public currency to attract/retain employees, and money for new PE funds,” Kim wrote in an emailed response to questions.

One buyout exec says going public will neither hurt nor help Carlyle. However, an IPO will give the PE firm a way to get around the expected tax hike in carried interest.

The Washington D.C.-based Carlyle has been expected to go public since 2007, the year rival Blackstone Group launched an IPO. Blackstone priced its offering at $31 a share but its stock has plunged 55% to $13.86 a share.

Fortress Investment Group also went public in 2007, and surged nearly 68% on its first day to $31. However, the stock is now trading at roughly $5 a share.

KKR also went public earlier this year via a reverse merger with affiliate KPE, and then subsequently re-listed to the NYSE. Apollo, earlier this year, also filed for a $475 million IPO.