KKR deploys $140m in two new growth capital deals

New York private equity firm puts growth capital to work in US and China-based businesses

KKR is investing two lots of growth capital of $70 million each into semiconductor company Transphorm and Chinese educational services company Tarena International, according to announcements by the New York private equity firm.

KKR's investment in California-based Transphorm, a maker of power conversion devices based on new semiconductor materials, came from its balance sheet. Additional terms were not disclosed.

Transphorm has previously raised capital from other investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Foundation Capital, Google Ventures, Soros Quantum Strategic Partners, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan and Fujitsu.

David Kerko, senior advisor at KKR, said in a statement that Transphorm's technology is paving the way for a revolutionary change in energy efficiency.

“Long term, we believe this has the potential to replace all of the existing silicon-based technology used in high voltage products, and wide adoption of this technology will dramatically reduce the amount of energy that is wasted by electric devices.”

For its growth capital investments, KKR is focused on investing in market-leading and high-growth companies, the statement said.

Separately, KKR teamed up with Shaoyun Han, founder and chief executive of Tarena International, to invest a combined $90.5 million in the Beijing-based educational services company. KKR agreed to acquire 6.8 million shares in the Nasdaq-traded company, equivalent to 13 percent, from affiliates of Goldman Sachs and IDG Technology Venture Investments. The acquisition was made from its China Growth Fund.

Han agreed to buy two million shares held by the same investment groups for $20.5 million, giving him a 3.8 percent stake in the business.

Julian Wolhardt of KKR, said in a statement: “Tarena is a great company and a leader in its field with an excellent management team.”

KKR's investment in Tarena is expected to close in July.