By Tanya Agrawal and Olivia Oran
(Reuters) - Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP said it was looking to raise between $701.5 million and $762.5 million in its initial public offering, valuing the company at as much as $7.61 billion, as it presses on with plans to catch up with rivals Blackstone (BX.N), KKR (KKR.N) and Apollo Global Management (APO.N).
A roadshow for Carlyle was to start this week with its founders -- William Conway, Daniel D'Aniello and David Rubenstein -- set to join the marketing efforts as three teams are dispatched to present to investors.
The Carlyle roadshow will kick off Tuesday in Kansas City, Missouri, before moving to Europe and the Middle East, according to a buy-side source. It will move back to the United States on April 24, with stops including New York, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago. Pricing for the IPO is expected on May 2.
A Carlyle spokesperson declined to comment on the details of the roadshow.
Most private equity firms have not fared well in the public markets. Blackstone Group, the world's largest private equity firm, has lost about half its market value since it went public in 2007.
Last Thursday, Oaktree Capital Group LLC (OAK.N), a private equity firm focused on debt investments, sold fewer-than-expected shares in an IPO that was priced at the bottom of its expected range. Its shares ended trading on Friday down 3.5 percent from the IPO price.
Oaktree's IPO is viewed by some investors as a litmus test for a public offering from Carlyle.
The IPO market, which has recovered from last year, has seen volatility in the past week. Solar power plant developer BrightSource Energy Inc withdrew its IPO citing adverse market conditions, whereas Oaktree Capital Management backed aluminum processor Aleris Corp postponed its plans to go public.
Carlyle said it will sell 30.5 million units at between $23 and $25 per unit.
Carlyle, whose investments include Dunkin Brands (DNKN.O), Alliance Boots ABN.UL and Freescale Semiconductor (FSL.N), was valued at $20 billion in September 2007, before the credit crisis sent stock markets tumbling.
Carlyle, which is seeking to sell a 10 percent stake, said the underwriters have the option to purchase up to 4.57 million additional shares.
Carlyle's founders will not sell any of their shares in the offering.
The company, which filed for an IPO last September, said it expects to use the proceeds to repay debt, fund acquisitions and for general corporate purposes.
Carlyle, which has about $147 billion in assets under management, returned a record $19 billion to its fund investors in 2011 and reported a 152 percent year-on-year jump in distributable earnings, as sales of several assets in its funds boosted profits.
The company will list its units on the Nasdaq under the symbol "CG."
J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and BofA Merrill Lynch are among the underwriters for the IPO.
(Reporting By Tanya Agrawal and Olivia Oran; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)