* Carlyle seeking to tap demand from rising middle class
* Buys 51 percent stake in owner of pantyhose maker
* Deal worth 280 million reais ($159.7 mln)
BRASILIA, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Private equity fund Carlyle Group concluded the purchase of a 51 percent stake in Brazil’s Scalina, the owner of a pantyhose maker, Folha de S. Paulo reported on Sunday.
The funds for the 280 million reais-deal ($159.7 mln) will come from South America Buyout, a Carlyle fund, and a fund Carlyle has in partnership with state-run Banco do Brasil (BBAS3.SA), Folha said.
“The rise of the middle class, the increase in consumption and investments in infrastructure, which will eliminate bottlenecks in the sector, are some of the reasons for the investment in Scalina,” Juan Carlos Felix, director of Carlyle in Brazil told Folha.
“The strategy is to work to open stores aggressively, strengthen client relations, to launch products and to work on distribution channels to triple sales within five years.”
The aim is also to increase the company’s participation in international markets, Folha reported.
The news of the new acquisition comes as Carlyle is seeking greater presence in Latin America’s largest economy in a bid to tap the country’s growing middle class.
In July, the group said it had agreed to buy Brazilian health services provider Grupo Qualicorp, and in January it announced it was buying 63.6 percent of Brazil’s CVC, the biggest tour operator in Latin America.
Reporting by Ana Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by Diane Craft