Private equity giant Carlyle Group completed raising its first Middle East and North Africa (MENA) fund, Carlyle MENA Partners, with equity commitments of $500 million.  Per the firm’s site, the fund will invest primarily in “healthy, growing companies in various sectors, including energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, infrastructure, technology and transportation in the MENA region.”  Carlyle’s MENA team was established in March 2007.  From offices in Cairo, Dubai and Istanbul, Carlyle’s team of 12 professionals targets investments in Turkey, North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia), the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), the Levant (Lebanon and Jordan) and Pakistan.

To date, Carlyle MENA has made one investment in July 2008, acquiring a 50% stake in TVK Gemi Yapim Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., a Turkish shipbuilder specializing in the construction of chemical tankers and other specialty vessels.