The Carlyle Group is in discussions to sell a minority stake of about 20% of TCW Group to Nippon Life Insurance Co., according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
The potential deal has not been finalized. Sources said that Carlyle and TCW have been in discussions with a number of other potential buyers, many of them based in Asia.
Sources say that Nippon could pay around ¥50 billion ($443 million), which could imply a valuation of TCW at roughly $2.25 billion.
Two of Carlyle's funds, the $1.1 billion Carlyle Global Financial Services Partners and $13.7 billion U.S. buyout fund Carlyle Partners V, bought 60% of TCW in February 2013 for about $700 million. Carlyle Global Financial Services Partners was launched in 2008 and Carlyle Partners V was launched in 2007, meaning both funds could be closing in on the end of their lifespans. It is unclear whether the two funds would continue to own their remaining stake if 20% of TCW is sold to Nippon.
The remaining 40% of TCW is owned by TCW management and its employees.
At the time Carlyle invested in TCW, the fixed-income manager had $138 billion in assets under management. TCW had $196.9 billion in assets under management as of June 30. Nippon Life has total assets of ¥65 trillion.
Nippon Life spokesman Takashi Matsuki declined to comment. Christoper Ullman, Carlyle Group spokesman, and Doug Morris, TCW spokesman, also declined to comment.