In June, Reuters reported that Carlyle was moving closer to an initial public offering and could raise around $1bn.
Carlyle was valued at $20bn in September 2007, when an investment unit of the Abu Dhabi government bought a 7.5 per cent stake, before the credit crisis sent stock markets sliding.
Carlyle, co-founded in 1987 by David Rubenstein, said it generated economic net income - a measure of profitability used by private equity firms - of over $1bn last year and around $770m in the first half of this year.
Rival Blackstone's second-quarter economic net income was $703m. Shares in Blackstone, currently valued at $14.6bn, have dropped by a third since a near 3-year high in late-April.
Carlyle will be managed by its general partner Carlyle Group Management, which intends to make quarterly dividend payments to common unit holders.
Carlyle is controlled by its senior professionals and investors which own minority interests in the business - Mubadala Development Co, an Abu-Dhabi based strategic development and investment company, and California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS).
Washington-based Carlyle, which currently manages about $153bn in assets - versus $159bn at Blackstone - told the US Securities and Exchange Commission in a preliminary prospectus that J.P. Morgan, Citigroup and Credit Suisse are underwriting the IPO.
Carlyle has invested in companies including Dunkin Brands, Alliance Boots and Freescale Semiconductor.
The filing did not reveal how many units the company planned to sell or their expected price.