KKR secures $1.7 bln for special situations fund

The fund, dubbed KKR Special Situations Fund II, held a close on that $1.7 billion last week, the people said this week. The fundraising is continuing and underscores how private equity firms have diversified beyond buying and selling companies to investing in all levels of a company’s capital structure.

KKR is particularly eager to invest more in Asian companies that struggle to secure financing from traditional banking sources amid an economic slowdown in China, one of the people said. The New York-based firm boosted its special situation team’s headcount in Asia last year from two to eight people, the person added.

KKR declined to comment.

KKR finished raising its first $2 billion global special situations fund in December 2013 after launching it in 2012. That fund had an internal rate of return, net of fees, of 14.7 percent as of the end of December.

KKR’s special situations investments include Spanish pizza delivery business Telepizza, Indonesian food company TPS Group, and German soccer club Hertha Berlin.

KKR, which was founded in 1976 by Henry Kravis, George Roberts and Jerome Kohlberg, had assets under management of $98.6 billion at the end of December.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)