Carlyle pumps $45m into two Chinese deals

The firm's Asian growth capital business is backing the growth of Nantong Rainbow Heavy Industry and iTour.

The Carlyle Group has invested more than $45 million in two Chinese businesses: Nantong Rainbow Heavy Industry, a supplier of ship components, and iTour, a provider of tourism services. The size of the stakes acquired by the firm has not been disclosed.

Carlyle made the investments from Carlyle Asia Growth Partners IV, which closed on $1.04 billion in June 2009.

The two investments follow close on the heels of a $15 million investment the firm made in October, for a stake of approximately 16.5 percent in China Agritech, a fertilizer company that develops, makes, and distributes liquid and granular organic compound fertilizers in China.

Nantong Rainbow Heavy Industry is a Sino-foreign joint venture which produces ship accessory products including hatch covers, steel structures for the construction industry and port machinery.

Established in 1998, iTour is an integrated tourism services provider with 25 branches in major Chinese cities including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. The company’s tour services cover more than 300 cities currently and provide travel booking services to 1.5 billion members.

Carlyle Asia Growth Partners IV has made four investments thus far. Besides the three investments listed above, the firm has made a $20 million investment in Ellassay, a high-end Chinese women’s fashion house, which was the fund's first investment.

Carlyle’s Asian growth group manages approximately $2 billion across four funds. It makes sector agnostic investments and has closed transactions in sectors such as energy, consumer, technology, business services, education, industrial, healthcare, real estate and media. Four-fifths of the group’s investments have been made in either in China or India.

Earlier this week, one of Carlyle’s portfolio companies, China Forestry Holdings Group, in which Partners Group is also an investor, announced its public offer on the Hong Kong stock exchange.  A market source told sister website PEI Asia the company is looking to raise up to $203 million through the IPO. Carlyle has another two IPOs in the pipeline in China, the source added.