KKR in $720m Japan exit

The firm will exit Intelligence, a Japanese recruitment services company it held for only three years, through a trade sale to a Japanese corporation.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts will fully exit portfolio company Intelligence Holdings in a sale to Japanese corporate buyer Temp Holdings for ¥68 billion (€562 million; $720 million), according to a statement from KKR.

The sale price represents an equity value of approximately ¥51 billion. 

The firm declined to comment on exit multiples. But according to media reports, KKR acquired Intelligence in June 2010 for ¥32.5 billion, which would give an exit multiple of roughly 2.1x. 

During the three-year holding period, Intelligence increased EBITDA by 170 percent and operating profit by 431 percent, and employees increased by 37 percent, according to the statement. 

KKR said its operational work included the introduction of key performance indicators to make management more efficient, development of sales productivity improvement programs and helping the company expand into high growth business areas in Japan.

The buyer, Temp Holdings, a large Japanese recruitment services company, approached KKR in October after speaking with Hirotoshi Takahashi, the CEO of Intelligence, according to a source close to the matter.

There were no other bidders, and because Intelligence had reported key operational improvement metrics, KKR decided to sell despite the relatively short holding period, the source said.

Japan has had a spate of exits recently, highlighting an increasingly liquid exit market. The Carlyle Group and Bain Capital are among the global firms reporting Japan divestments in the last eight months.

Earlier this month, KKR hired two directors for its Japan office, increasing its local team to 12 people as it prepares to close its $6 billion Asia fund.