Buyout firm KKR to go public

28-07-2008

Buyout firm KKR to go public
Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) is to go public on the New York Stock Exchange later this year.

KKR is one of the world's oldest and best-known leveraged buy-out firms, but has been hit by the credit crunch as cheap bank loans have dried up.

The company plans to buy KKR Private Equity Investors (KPE), its Amsterdam listed fund, and list the new entity on the NYSE.

Shareholders in KPE would receive a stake in the new firm, which would total 21 per cent of the equity. The remaining 79 per cent of the equity would be retained by KKR executives, the firm said.

As an extra incentive, if the shares under perform to a specified level, shareholders will be granted an additional six per cent in the equity of the combined company.

KKR will not be selling any shares directly to the public, however. The KPE board has approved the deal and stockholders must now give their approval.

In a statement, KKR founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts said: "Moving forward with a public listing will allow KKR to do what we do best - grow companies around the world and produce solid returns for our investors from a larger platform and deeper capital base."

The transaction offers "substantial benefits" for shareholders and will provide additional capital for the company, KKR added.

The secretive firm, founded in 1976, has been involved in some of the largest buyouts in history, including $31.1 billion takeover of RJR Nabisco.

Last year, the firm acquired high street chemist group Alliance Boots with the company's deputy chairman for £12.4 billion.

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