Carlyle says banks, energy, distressed, attractive

BERLIN, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Private equity giant Carlyle Group [CYL.UL] is seeking deals in sectors including finance and energy, its co-founder David Rubenstein said on Wednesday.

Banks, asset managers and insurers, mainly in the U.S. and Europe are potential targets, and deals that are most attractive are those with government support, he said.

Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the SuperReturn private equity conference in Berlin, Rubenstein said in the energy sector he was most focused on conventional energy, but said alternative energy was also attractive.

He’s also looking at distressed debt opportunities. Rubenstein said that geographically, Asia and Brazil were two focuses.

Private equity firms have been hard hit by the credit crisis, which severely limited their ability to do deals. Rubenstein said earlier on Wednesday that while banks won’t be lending much in the first half of the year, he predicted that in the latter half of 2009 and 2010 there would be more leverage available to buyouts. (Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)