* Expected to make final decision before Friday deadline
* Sources say even if Carlyle pulls out, bid set to go ahead
SYDNEY, July 15 - Private equity firm Carlyle [CYL.UL] may pull out of a consortium expected to bid around $1.5 bilion for Australia's second-largest hospital owner Healthscope <HSP.AX>, two sources familiar with the deal said Thursday.
Carlyle is part of a consortium including TPG [TPG.UL] and Blackstone Group LP <BX.N> looking at Healthscope. Even if Carlyle pulls out, the other members fo the group were still expected to proceed, the sources said.
"The bank group will still go on without [Carlyle]", said one of the sources, a senior banker backing the consortium.
There have been concerns among potenial bidders about the debt market and government moves to deregulate the pathology industry were weighing on the sale efforts, but both the KKR and TPG groups were still expected to lodge bids by Friday.
The Australian newspaper said a final decision would be made in concert with local Caryle executives and the firm's U.S.-based partners in the next 24 hours.
"The next 24 hours, we will see what happens. All of the PE guys, particularly Caryle are very disciplined," one the sources told Reuters.
U.S.-based Tenet Healthcare Corp <THC.NL> also made an approach but later dropped out.
KKR approached Healthscope in May with a cash offer of A$5.80 a share, valuing the company at A$1.84 billion, topping TPG's offer of A$5.75 a share. A successful sale would be the largest private equity takeover in Australia since 2008.
Officials for the TPG consortium and Healthscope declined to comment, while officials at Caryle were not immediately available to comment.
KKR is being advised by Morgan Stanley.
Healthscope is being advised by Goldman Sachs JBWere and Lazard.
They include the three major lenders ANZ <ANZ.AX>, Commonwealth Bank of Australia <CBA.AX> and Westpac Banking Corp <WBC.AX>, as well as international lenders such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch <BAC.N>, and Barclays Capital <BARC.L>, plus others. (Additional reporting by Sharon Klyne; Editing by Ed Davies)