Carlyle pulls back from US consumer bets as part of strategic overhaul -source

By Anirban Sen

(Reuters) -Private equity firm Carlyle Group plans to pull back from investing in U.S.-based consumer, media and retail companies as it looks to focus on other key sectors such as technology and financial services, according to a person familiar with the matter.

In a memo sent to employees, Carlyle’s Americas private equity co-heads Sandra Horbach and Brian Bernasek said it had “decided to deemphasize Consumer, Media & Retail in the US as a go forward investment sector given the increasingly challenging investment trends in this space.”

“While these decisions are never easy, this is necessary to position our platform and team for the future,” Horbach and Bernasek said.

Four dealmakers focused on the consumer, media and retail sectors will exit the firm as part of the latest moves, the source said. Carlyle plans to continue investing in those sectors in other geographies such as Europe and Asia, the source added.

In North America, Carlyle’s active investments in the consumer sector include beauty brand Beautycounter, animal care and nutrition firm Compana Pet Brands, and men’s personal care brand Every Man Jack.

Carlyle’s private equity business will now focus its U.S. strategy around five key sectors – healthcare, technology, industrials, financial services, and government services.

To expand its efforts in financial services, Carlyle has tasked Will McMullan to co-head the unit alongside Jim Burr. Carlyle also named Anna Tye as its co-head for technology investments, alongside Patrick McCarter. Tye will retain her existing role as co-head of growth investments.

Bloomberg News reported on Carlyle’s latest plans earlier on Monday.

(Additional reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Rosalba O’Brien)