KKR raises 4.5bn for Europe

In the same week that rival Blackstone had a first close on the largest-ever private equity fund, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) raised €4.5bn for European investments.

KKR European Fund II is the firm’s second private equity fund focused on Western European investments. It was capped at €4.5bn, exceeding KKR’s initial target by €1.5bn. According to the group, the fund received subscriptions significantly in excess of the eventual cap.

Individuals from KKR committed €100m of the capital raised. The rest was sourced from a variety of institutional investors across North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, including approximately 40% from new investors.

KKR currently manages around US$11.5bn in funds, including European II and the US$6bn KKR Millennium Fund, which primarily targets US and Canadian investments.

KKR’s first dedicated European fund was raised in 1999, and has invested or committed all of its US$3bn capital. The firm, which made its first investment in Europe in 1996, has placed an aggregate of US$4.8bn in equity in 17 European companies since then.

These investments include the largest leveraged buyouts to date in the Netherlands and France, a market-leading eight investments in Germany, and nine European transactions with a value of US$1bn or more. Investments include Newsquest, Willis Group, Wincor Nixdorf, Legrand, Royal Vendex, ATU and MTU.

Founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts said that, since it was founded in 1976, the firm had realised more than US$50.7bn for its limited partners after raising 11 private equity funds and total investment of US$22.5bn. The gross IRR across these funds is 27.1% for a 2.7x return on invested capital.

“In the last 10 years, we have distributed an average of US$3.3bn each year to our investors, or a total of US$33bn. We are extremely proud of this track record,” they said.