The Carlyle Group plans to close its fifth flagship Asia fund on $6.5 billion as soon as this month, outstripping an original target of $5 billion, according to Reuters. The firm is also reportedly raising a separate vehicle focused on China with a target of 4 billion yuan (about $629 million), the latest example of ongoing LP interest in Asia.
If Carlyle does reach $6.5 billion, it would mark the continuation of a steady rise in size for the firm's primary Asia buyout funds:
The news comes less than two weeks after two other major developments in the region. A report emerged at the end of April that Bain Capital is targeting a $4 billion fund to invest in Asia, and shortly thereafter Carlyle and TPG Capital announced an agreement to co-invest on a $1.9 billion takeover of the Baidu financial services business, a branch of the Chinese internet search giant.
Carlyle's recent efforts in Asia extend beyond fundraising and dealmaking into personnel moves: The firm has announced the addition of former Microsoft executive Hongjiang Zhang as a senior advisor to its private equity platform in Asia. Zhang's most recent post was as CEO of Kingsoft, a Chinese internet and software business, and before that he was CTO of the Microsoft's R&D operations in the Asia-Pacific region.
It sounds like he could play a role in investing both of Carlyle's new funds. He's slated to help the firm expand its investment activity in the tech, media and telecom sectors in China and other Asian countries.