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Tue, Jul 21, 2009 - Page 10 News List

KKR purchase of affiliate approved

BLOOMBERG

KKR & Co’s plan to purchase the assets of its Amsterdam-listed buyout fund was approved by the affiliate’s board, bringing the private-equity firm a step closer to being publicly traded.

The agreement was supported by the three directors of KKR Private Equity Investors LP who are independent of the fund and of KKR, the companies said today in a statement.

The transaction is scheduled to be completed on Oct. 1 if a majority of KPE unitholders consent during voting in the third quarter.

KPE investors will own 30 percent of New York-based KKR, which is run by co-founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts and is closely held by executives of the firm. No cash will change hands, no new securities will be issued, and KKR owners won’t sell any of their holdings as part of the acquisition, according to the statement.

While the combined company will trade in Amsterdam, it may seek a listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

KKR tried unsuccessfully for almost two years to list shares in New York, proposing an initial public offering in July 2007 after rival Blackstone Group LP’s US$4.75 billion share sale. The collapse of credit markets, which halted most leveraged buyouts, forced KKR to propose the deal with its publicly traded fund a year later.

KPE’s net asset value was US$3 billion, or US$14.55 to US$14.75 a unit, as of June 30, according to the statement. That’s an increase of 14 percent from March 31. KPE plans to release full results by Aug. 30.

KKR had a second-quarter profit of US$345 million to US$375 million, the firm said in the statement. KKR said in June it posted a US$1.2 billion loss in 2008, the first in at least five years. Assets under management rose 7.4 percent to US$50.8 billion in June from March.

Investors holding about 44 percent of KPE’s stock, including Black River Asset Management LLC, Putnam Investments and Templeton Global Advisors Ltd, previously pledged to approve the proposal, the statement said.

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