KKR preps public fund

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the US-based buyout firm, plans to raise about US$1.5bn through a publicly-listed co-investment company in Europe.

Jersey-based KKR Private Equity Investors will float on Amsterdam’s Euronext exchange and allow smaller investors to tap into KKR’s deals rather than invest the minimum of US$25m required for its latest limited partner fund, which is trying to raise US$15bn.

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are arranging the IPO, which is likely to be priced at net asset value to KKR’s portfolio.

Rivals have also been studying their options to raise money through the public markets and tap into the burgeoning defined contribution and mutual fund savings market rather than rely on defined benefit funds.

Apollo Management raised US$930m in 2004 through a public vehicle while US-based peer Ripplewood floated RHJ International in Brussels last year partly to avoid tax issues. In the UK, investment trust companies have been the preferred way to tap public markets, with Permira having gained a €2.3bn commitment from SVG Capital for its latest fund.