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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Carlyle, Alfa Mull Joint Equity Fund

Carlyle Group Inc., a U.S. private-equity company, is in discussions with Alfa Group on starting a $500 million private-equity fund, the Financial Times reported Thursday, without saying where it got the information.

Each company would contribute $250 million to the fund, which aims to invest in a range of Russian businesses to take advantage of predicted growth in gross domestic product of as much as 7 percent, according to the FT. Carlyle and Alfa reportedly are close to reaching agreement, it said.

Both Alfa and Carlyle declined to comment when reached Thursday.

A source at Carlyle said no official deal had been reached so far and Alfa Group was in talks with several private equity groups, not just Carlyle.

"We have been looking at Russia for a long time," the source said, on condition of anonymity. "But we have not made any firm deals so far."

Carlyle snapped up a 68 percent stake in the pharmacy network Apteka Holding in 1999, its sole investment in Russia to date. (Bloomberg, MT)