Carlyle to go public

The Washington, D.C. behemoth is to join the ranks of KKR, The Blackstone Group and Apollo Global Management via an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Carlyle Group today filed for an Initial Public Offering of units in the global alternatives business on the New York Stock Exchange by 2012.

The filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirmed that Carlyle, with $153 billion of assets under management, will join the ranks of other major alternative asset managers that have gone public, such as The Blackstone Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, and Apollo Global Management.

As well as its activities in all alternatives, the Washington, D.C. firm has a large ‘real assets’ business, which houses real estate, infrastructure and energy and renewable resources.

According to the filing, Carlyle, which was co-founded by David Rubenstein, has $12 billion of property assets under management as at the end of June and employs 110 investment professionals who generally focus on acquiring single-property opportunities rather than large-cap companies with real estate portfolios.

At $12 billion AUM, property far outweighs the $1 billion Carlyle has in infrastructure assets, but is significantly smaller than the $18 billion it has in energy and renewable resources.

The company began its real estate arm in 1997 with its first US real estate fund, Carlyle Realty Partners I.

The filing lists Carlyle Realty Partners VI as its most recent fund, established in 2010 with $1.6 billion of equity commitments as of June 30 this year.

Real assets account for 21 percent of all assets under management at Carlyle. The largest chunk of its assets, however, are in corporate private equity with 36 percent and funds of funds with 29 percent. Global market strategies accounts for 14 percent.

Overall, the firm is making an offering of $100 million of common units, but that is designed to cover registration fees. The final sum could be much larger.

In June, Reuters reported that Carlyle was moving closer to an initial public offering and could raise around $1 billion. The capital raise will be used to generate funds to repay debts, additional finance for acquisitions and other strategic investments.

Carlyle was valued at $20 billion in September 2007, when an investment unit of the Abu Dhabi government bought a 7.5 percent stake, before the credit crisis sent stock markets sliding.