Jeb Bush meets with KKR to discuss 2016 presidential run

  • Bush planning possible campaign for 2016
  • Former Florida Governor launched PAC on Jan. 6
  • Bush chaired PE firm Britton Hill Holdings

The meeting, first reported by The New York Times, is likely tied to the Jan. 6 launch of Bush’s political action committee (PAC), which is raising money for the 2016 election cycle.It is not clear if any KKR executives have contributed to the PAC or if they plan to do so. KKR declined to comment on which of its executives will attend the meeting.

Although Governor Bush does not have a business relationship with KKR, some of the firm’s executives do have some ties to the Bush family, including the Governor’s brother, Former President George W. Bush. KKR co-founder Henry Kravis contributed a total of $3,000 to campaigns mounted by the former president in 1999 in 2003, according to Federal Election Commission filings. KKR’s Global Head of Public Affairs, Ken Mehlman, served as President Bush’s campaign manager during the 2004 election.

Mehlman also chairs the Private Equity Growth Capital Council, an industry research and lobbying organization based in Washington, D.C.

Individual contributions to Governor Bush’s PAC, called Right to Rise, cannot exceed $5,000 per calendar year. Contributions from corporations, foreign nationals and government contractors are prohibited, according to the PAC’s website.

A spokesperson for Governor Bush did not respond to requests for comment.

Private equity ties

Britton Hill Holdings, a private equity firm chaired by Bush, disclosed that it had raised $40.4 million from 37 investors in a June 2013 SEC filing. The firm invests in energy, infrastructure, logistics and environmental services companies, according to a Bloomberg report.

It is unclear if he still has a role at the firm. Prior to the launch of Right to Rise, Governor Bush resigned all of his corporate and non-profit board memberships in early January, The Washington Post reported. The report indicated that Bush would review his work with Britton Hill and Jeb Bush & Associates, a consulting firm.

Britton Hill had not responded to a request for comment as of press time.