Carlyle Secures $14 Billion

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Private equity firm The Carlyle Group [CYL.UL] has raised nearly $14 billion towards a fund that is targeted at $15 billion, a source familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

Washington, D.C.-based Carlyle launched the U.S. buyout fund in the spring of 2007. The fund has not yet closed, the source said. Funds typically have several “closes” before a “final close” where it is no longer open to new investors.

The fund has been raised in an exceptionally difficult environment, as the global financial crisis and credit crunch made it extremely hard for investors to deploy cash.

Private equity fund-raising is at its slowest for more than three years, figures from London-based research firm Private Equity Intelligence in October showed. A total of 117 funds raised $82.3 billion from investors in the third quarter of 2008, the lowest dollar amount raised since the first quarter of 2005.

Carlyle declined comment.

Carlyle on Monday confirmed it is shutting its operation in central and eastern Europe and its leveraged finance team in Asia as the global economic crisis bites.

(Reporting by Megan Davies; Editing by Bernard Orr)