Kuwaiti conglomerate sells portfolio of stakes to Strat Partners

Kuwait-based National Industries Group has sold at least three Carlyle private equity funds from its portfolio.

Kuwaiti manufacturing and financial services conglomerate National Industries Group (NIG) has sold a portfolio of fund stakes to The Blackstone Group’s Strategic Partners, Secondaries Investor has learned.

Known funds in the portfolio are Carlyle Europe Partners Funds II and III and Carlyle Asia Partners III, UK regulatory filings disclosed. The portfolio consists of additional stakes but the fund managers could not be named, a source familiar with the matter said.

Spokespersons from Carlyle, NIG and Strategic Partners declined to comment.

Carlyle Europe Partners II (CEP II) launched in 2003 and raised €1.8 billion for leveraged buyouts in targeted industries across Europe.

CEP II was used to acquire a 70 percent stake in Italian aircraft engine manufacturer Avio. Carlyle invested in the company alongside Italian industrial company Finmeccanica. The pair paid €1.5 billion to buy Avio from the Fiat Group in 2003 and sold it to Cinven for €2.57 billion in 2006, Carlyle’s website disclosed.

CEP II was generating a multiple of invested capital of 1.9x and a net internal rate of return of 20 percent as of 31 December, according to Carlyle’s fourth quarter earnings report.

The subsequent fund in the family, Carlyle Europe Partners III (CEP III), raised €5.4 billion in 2006. Fund III followed the same strategy as its predecessor fund. The two vehicles jointly invested in Spanish technology company Applus, which Carlyle still owns.

CEP III also acquired a 48 percent stake in Italian luxury retailer Moncler in 2008 and sold most of its stake to investment firm Eurazeo in 2011. Moncler was listed on the Milan Stock Exchange in 2013 and Carlyle progressively sold the remainder of its stake until the middle of last year.

Other CEP III investments include French stainless steel heat exchange company Sermeta and UK cash management systems provider Talaris. Both companies have been exited, according to Carlyle’s website.

The fund was generating an MOIC of 1.9x and a net IRR of 13 percent at the end of 2014, according to Carlyle’s fourth quarter earnings.

Strategic Partners funded the portfolio using its latest fund, which closed on $4.4 billion last October.