(Bloomberg) -- Carlyle Group Inc. is seeking to raise $8.5 billion for its biggest-ever Asian buyout fund, people familiar with the matter said.

The Washington-based private equity firm has started meeting investors for its sixth buyout fund in the region, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. It’s aiming to bring in about 30% more capital than its last Asian offering, which closed at $6.55 billion in 2018.

Carlyle has been boosting its focus on consumer and health care as the sectors increasingly contribute to economic growth in the region. It’s also been accelerating investments in India as the market catches up with China, poaching a senior Blackstone Inc. dealmaker last year to co-head its operations in the country. 

Private equity firms are seeking to cash in on institutional investors’ thirst for higher returns and shore up their coffers to cater for robust demand for private assets. Asia Pacific-focused funds raised $144 billion last year, up 7% from 2020, according to research from consultancy Bain & Co.

Carlyle has been in the process of raising $22 billion for its global flagship private equity fund, set to be its largest ever. Deliberations about the Asia fund are ongoing, and the size of the pool could increase depending on investor demand, the people said. 

A representative for Carlyle declined to comment. 

Carlyle said Thursday it agreed to acquire China’s HCP Packaging, which makes packaging for the beauty industry. The deal valued HCP at about $1 billion, Bloomberg News reported earlier. 

In India, Carlyle teamed up with Brighton Park Capital last year to invest $200 million in health care solutions provider Indegene. The private equity firm agreed in November to buy South Korean premium cafe chain A Twosome Place from Anchor Equity Partners.

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