US private equity giant The Carlyle Group plans to invest more than the $7.9bn it put to work last year amid an upturn in M&A activity, co-CEO David Rubenstein has told Bloomberg TV.
Bloomberg said M&A deal volume had reached $339bn so far this year, up 15 per cent from the same period of 2012.
Rubenstein said Carlyle would do more deals this year than in 2012 and focus on transactions smaller than $5bn, as leveraged buyouts of that size consume less of the firm’s equity and produce better returns.
Rubenstein said, “We are going to see a pick-up in M&A activity and a pickup in corporate buyer activity.
“I do think that this year we will see much more money deployed than you did see last year.”
He added that deals in Europe would pick up more than expected as buyers see assets selling at a discount, calling the region “the largest emerging market in the world, in the sense that prices are beaten down”.
Rubenstein said, “The most attractive assets will probably be by more distressed sellers like banks over the next three to four years.”
Carlyle released its full year results last week, revealing that raised a total of $3bn towards its private equity funds in the last quarter of 2012, bringing its full-year fundraising total to $7.8bn.
Rubenstein said in a conference call that followed the results that the fundraising climate was the best in five years. He also revealed that Carlyle had raised $6bn towards its $10bn-targeting buyout fund.
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