Carlyle Group raises $1.1 billion for middle market deals

NEW YORK Wed Nov 7, 2012 11:38am EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP (CG.O) said it has raised $1.1 billion for its middle-market investment fund, which looks to invest about $25 million to $150 million of equity capital per deal.

The fundraising effort surpassed Carlyle's goal for its Carlyle Equity Opportunity Fund, which had originally been $1 billion, the firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

Carlyle Equity Opportunity has already invested more than 20 percent of the fund in four middle-market deals, including a stake in Carlyle's joint venture with Sunoco Inc (SUN.N) to run the largest U.S. East Coast refinery, a 330,000 barrel per day plant in Philadelphia, Pa.

It has also made investments in a aerospace-component manufacturer, a provider of educational student travel programs, and a collision repair company.

Many private equity firms and investment banks have recently beefed up their focus on middle market deals as larger deals have slowed.

"We see incredible opportunities in this large and under-served market," Rodney Cohen, co-head of Carlyle's U.S. middle market investment team, said in the statement. (Reporting By Michael Erman; Editing by Peter Galloway)