Carlyle loses head of Japanese growth investments

Haruyasu Asakura has left the firm but Carlyle said it continues to focus on SMEs and real estate assets in Japan, despite recent media reports suggesting otherwise.

The Carlyle Group has confirmed the head of its Japanese growth capital team, Haruyasu Asakura, has resigned, but stressed it has not suspended its investments in medium-sized and small Japanese companies, contrary to recent media reports.

Carlyle continues to be interested in a broad range of investment opportunities in Japan, including small and medium-sized companies and real estate assets, a spokeswoman said.

Haruyasu Asakura, who was appointed head of the global buyout firm’s growth capital team in Japan in 2005, left the firm in June. The spokeswoman did not disclose the rationale for doing so but said the firm wishes him well in his new endeavours.

Asakura was formerly a managing director of Carlyle’s $470 million Japanese Buyout Fund, before being chosen to set up the firm’s growth capital team.

According to an industry source, Asakura has joined a Japanese government-affiliated innovation fund.

In June, the firm closed Carlyle Asia Growth Partners IV on $1.04 billion. The sector-agnostic fund is focused on investments in private companies with high growth potential primarily in China, India and Korea, but it will also consider opportunities in fast-growing companies in other Asian economies.