By Chibuike Oguh

(Reuters) – Buyout firm Carlyle Group Inc is in talks to acquire CBAM Partners in a bid to grow its credit investment platform and take on peers such as Apollo Global Management Inc and Blackstone Inc, according to people familiar with the matter.

Carlyle has prevailed in an auction to acquire New York-based CBAM, which manages $15 billion in credit assets, such as collateralized loan obligations and structured credit products, according to the sources, who requested anonymity because the matter is confidential.

Bloomberg News reported earlier that Carlyle was in advanced talks to acquire CBAM for between $750 million to $850 million. Carlyle and CBAM spokespeople declined to comment.

With its roots in leveraged buyouts, Carlyle has been trying to expand its credit platform in recent years. It hired veteran credit executive Mark Jenkins from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in 2016 to spearhead its expansion into the private credit market.

The Washington, D.C.-based firm grew its credit assets to $73 billion as of the end of December, up from $34 billion when Jenkins joined, through a mixture of fundraising and acquisitions of other firms. It bought the aircraft financing firm Apollo Aviation Group in 2018 and announced a $3 billion deal to acquire the rental property leasing business of iStar Inc on Wednesday.

CBAM Partners was founded in 2016 by Don Young, Mike Damaso and Jay Garrett. It is majority-owned by Eldridge, the investment company of billionaire Todd Boehly, who owns stakes in the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Lakers.

(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Additional reporting by Pamela Barbaglia in London; Editing by Mark Potter)