Monday, July 13, 2009

Carlyle Group Looks to Great White North

Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein spoke from Quebec City. Globe & Mail reported:

Rubenstein said yesterday that the next boom for venture capital investments may well be in the "clean tech" sector, with environmental companies attracting major investments from venture capital entrepreneurs.

"There's no doubt that the world is yearning for more technological innovations that will make our lives better, clean tech being a very good example," Mr. Rubenstein said in an interview in Quebec City, where he is attending the North American Venture Capital Summit.

"You will see enormous amounts of money pouring into this area.

Most of the investments will probably not yield a good rate of return but there will be a Google or a Microsoft equivalent in that area. And we don't know today what it will be."

Carlyle has it's eye on the globe. It recently raised $500 million for a Middle East/North Africa fund and $1 billion for an Asian fund, heavily weighted toward China and India. What makes Canada so attractive?

After some difficult years, Canada is poised to attract investments from U.S. venture capital groups that now view their northern neighbour as a much more attractive place to invest, he said.

"United States venture capital companies are spending more time looking at companies in Canada," Mr. Rubenstein said. "The Canadian economy is booming, it has a strong currency, Canada has enormous energy self-sufficiency... and in many ways people are beginning to look north."

What does Mr. Rubenstein want, clean tech or Canada's enormous energy resources? Maybe a bit of both? Carlyle has enormous funds at their disposal for the right investment.