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Thu 30 May 2013 09:19 AM

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Abu Dhabi-backed Carlyle buys 49% stake in Chinese malls

US private equity firm, in which Mubadala owns stake, is banking on growing consumer demand

Abu Dhabi-backed Carlyle buys 49% stake in Chinese malls
David Rubenstein, managing director of Carlyle Group.

Carlyle Group, the US private-equity firm in which Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company owns a 7.5 percent stake, confirmed it had agreed to buy a 49 percent stake in two Chinese shopping malls, betting on growing consumer demand and expansion of the retail sector in the world's second-largest economy.

Carlyle, through a vehicle advised by its Asia real estate group, bought the stake from shopping mall developer SZITIC Commercial Property Co Ltd as part of a strategic partnership signed between the two companies, it said in an emailed statement.

The malls in second-tier cities Hangzhou and Suzhou have both fashion and electronics stores, with tenants including Starbucks Corp and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

"Rising household disposable income, continuing urbanisation, changing demographics and government initiatives to promote domestic consumption will continue to benefit China's retail sector," Jason Lee, head of Carlyle Asia Real Estate, said in the statement.

Carlyle did not disclose financial terms of the stake purchase.

* With Reuters

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