U.S. private equity fund Carlyle Group has sold about $860 million worth of shares in China Pacific Insurance Co Ltd <2601.HK>, a source with direct with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

Carlyle, which first invested in the company in 2005, sold 215 million shares in China Pacific at HK$31.15 each, the

source added. Carlyle declined comment, while China Pacific could not be reached for an immediate comment.

Carlyle held about 57 percent stake in China Pacific's H-shares traded in Hong Kong before the sell down, according to Thomson Reuters data.

(Reporting by Vikram Subhedar, Denny Thomas and Donny Kwok; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)