KKR Announces Plans To Go Public

Jul 28 2008 | 2:00am ET

More than a year after shelving plans to go public, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is taking the plunge.

The private equity giant will lay out its plans to investors today. KKR will in effect buy its European affiliate, Amsterdam-listed KKR Private Equity Investors, with new New York Stock Exchange-listed shares. KPE investors will get 21% of KKR’s new shares and contigent value rights for additional shares should KKR’s stock not perform up to par. The firm and its executives will retain the balance of the shares, with top managers agreeing not to sell their shares for between six and eight years, and about 16% set aside for future distribution to KKR partners and employees.

Under the proposal, KKR would be valued at between $12 billion and $15 billion.

“For K.K.R., this transaction provides us with additional capital for our business,” Henry Kravis and George Roberts said Sunday in a statement. “Moving forward with a public listing will allow K.K.R. to do what we do best—grow companies around the world and produce solid returns for our investors from a larger platform and a deeper capital base.”

Among the firm’s plans are expanded infrastructure, real estate, mezzanine debt and equity investments, in an effort to broaden KKR’s asset management base from p.e.

KPE shareholders must approve the deal for the transaction to move forward.

KKR had announced plans last summer to go public, but backed away due to market conditions and the difficulty faced by fellow p.e. firm The Blackstone Group following its public debut.

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