Carlyle Doubles Down on the Middle Market

The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) has raised its second middle-market buyout fund, Carlyle Equity Opportunity Fund II (CEOF II). The fund is valued at $2.4 billion, which is more than twice as much as Carlyle’s first middle-market fund that was launched in 2012 for $1.1 billion.

“The strong opportunities we see should enable us to build on Carlyle’s heritage in the middle-market space, as demonstrated by the 20 investments we have made since 2011,” says Carlyle managing director Rodney Cohen. CEOF II will invest between $20 million to $200 million per deal.

Carlyle has been active in the middle-market space lately. In 2015, the firm purchased candle maker Blyth Inc.; partnered with the Chertoff Group to buy cybersecurity provider Coalfire Systems; and also announced plans to add the Rhode Island State Energy Center. Earlier in 2016, Carlyle formed a partnership with health care focused investment bank and consulting firm Bourne Partners to create Phoenix Therapeutics, which will look for deals in the pharmaceutical space.

Some of Carlyle’s other middle-market investments include: automotive parts maker AxleTech International Holdings; software provider ECi Software Solutions; and auto repair shop Service King.

PE firms have been actively raising funds recently. Audax closed its fifth fund; Nautic Partners closed a $900 million fund; and Thompson Street Capital Partners recently closed its fourth fund.

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