Carlyle to Ramp Up in Japan With $1.8 Billion Fund Goal

(Bloomberg) -- Carlyle Group LP expects to seek 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) for its fourth fund to make buyout investments in Japan, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The firm has started reaching out to some investors about the next Carlyle Japan Partners pool before it officially begins fundraising, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The Washington-based firm would be trying to raise more than the prior fund, which gathered 119.5 billion yen in 2013.

Private equity firms are finding opportunities to invest in Japan boosted by negative interest rates and an effort by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to improve corporate governance. KKR & Co.’s co-presidents last year called Japan a top priority for investing because of cheaper valuations in the country. Managers, sitting on record amounts of cash, are navigating a frothy environment for buyout deals.

A Carlyle spokesman declined to comment.

Carlyle started its first dedicated Japan fund in 2001. The latest version was producing a 2.4 multiple on invested capital as of Dec. 31, according to a regulatory filing. Its 2006 and 2001 funds were generating a 1.5 and 2.9 multiples, respectively.

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