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Carlyle Group cuts minimum investment to $50,000 in new buyout fund

A general view of the lobby outside of the Carlyle Group offices in Washington, May 3, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A general view of the lobby outside of the Carlyle Group offices in Washington, May 3, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

(Reuters) - Carlyle Group LP will now allow people to invest as little as $50,000 in its new buyout fund, a regulatory filing showed, as private equity firms look to widen their customer base in search of new sources of funding.

The lowered entry point is down from Carlyle's earlier minimum investment of between $5 million and $20 million, according to a filing made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in January.

The opportunity to invest in the new Carlyle buyout fund will be available to "accredited investors," who are defined as having a net worth in excess of $1 million, or income in excess of $200,000 in each of the two preceding years prior to the investment.

The new closed-end fund - known as CPG Carlyle Private Equity Fund LLC - has signed up Central Park Advisers LLC as investment adviser, which means Carlyle will not directly deal with individual investors.

Carlyle's competitors, KKR & Co , Blackstone and Apollo Global Management LLC have already launched mutual funds targeting retail investors through their institutional asset management platforms. Those funds will invest in credit products.

Carlyle, however, will be the first big private equity firm to allow relatively small investors to invest directly in buyout funds.

The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal late on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad; Additional reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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