You can't blame Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for hoarding cash. Since floating on Amsterdam's Euronext exchange last May, KKR Private Equity Investors' net assets increased from $4.8 billion to $5 billion by the end of December – but nearly all of that capital has now been committed to various KKR funds, deals, and “opportunistic investments”.
When reporting its financial results in March, KKR co-founder Henry Kravis noted, “In just over 10 months of operations, we have been able to identify and deploy over 90 percent of KPE's capital in a variety of investments. Recently, the pace of these investments has accelerated as our unique sourcing model has allowed us to identify a variety of large and attractive situations.”
The large and attractive situations to which KPE has devoted the greatest amount of money are its co-investments in KKR-led deals. As of 31 March, it had allocated roughly $1.4 billion toward KKR buyouts including that of Dutch media firm The Nielson Company (formerly VNU Group) and US healthcare and hospital operator HCA.
That's not to say it didn't spend heavily on other KKR-approved investments in the same period. Its so-called opportunistic investments, including $350 million in convertible senior notes of Sun Microsystems and $185 million of publicly traded securities, totaled nearly $1 billion, while roughly $714 million fed various KKR private equity funds.
Taking into account additional expected fundings, including a $500 million co-investment in the buyout of Dallas, Texas-based utility company TXU and $1.2 billion-worth of capital commitments to various KKR funds, KPE estimated its remaining undrawn capital would be approximately $1.4 billion.
That estimate can now be altered to $1.1 billion, following KPE's commitment to co-invest in KKR's $27.9 billion acquisition of First Data, a US electronics payment company.
If KKR's first quarter investment pace continues as it has – the firm was responsible for nearly half of the quarter's $197 billion-worth of buyout activity, according to Dealogic – one assumes naturally that KPE will have soon spent all of its capital. Which begs the question: How soon until we see a KPE secondary offering?
BARING VOSTOK CLOSES BIGGEST EVER RUSSIAN FUND
Baring Vostok Capital Partners has closed its fourth private equity fund on $1 billion (€700 million). The fund will invest in companies in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other former Soviet countries, in the financial services, consumer, media, telecoms and oil & gas sectors. Fundraising began in December 2006. The firm, led by managing partner Michael Calvey, raised its first private equity fund with $160 million of committed capital in 1994. The second closed in 2001 on $205 million, and the third in 2005 on $413 million. The fourth fund has been backed by investors from Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia. Baring Vostok, a division of Baring Private Equity International, has invested more than $600 million in nearly 50 companies since its inception in 1994.
ICG CLOSES €2.25BN EUROPEAN MEZZ FUND
Intermediate Capital Group, the UKbased pan-European mezzanine and debt management specialist, has closed its fourth mezzanine fund on €2.3 billion ($3.1 billion). The fund, which is thought to be the biggest of its kind ever raised in Europe, held a first close in November and has made five investments to date. The fund will target the mezzanine tranche of European buyouts, and also buy senior debt and mezzanine loans in the secondary market. Founded in 1989, ICG has offices in London, Paris, Hong Kong, Madrid, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Sydney and Tokyo. The firm has €4.7 billion under management.
NANODIMENSION RAISES €45M FUND
Swiss venture capital firm NanoDimension has closed a dedicated nanotechnology fund on €45 million ($60 million). The fund has made one investment to date, backing Crocus Technology, a French business that develops magnetic data storage for computers.
EURAZEO CLOSES €500M CO-INVESTMENT FUND
French buyout firm Eurazeo has closed its first vehicle for third party investors on €500 million ($670 million). The vehicle, Eurazeo Co-Investment Partners, will invest alongside Eurazeo in every deal the firm does on a pro rata basis, committing €20 million for every €100 million that Paris-listed Eurazeo invests.
RREEF CLOSES $775M SECONDARIES FUND
The alternative investments business of Deutsche Bank Asset Management has closed a $775 million secondaries fund, which will also buy secondary interests in private equity funds and co-invest in buyout deals. The fund has agreed to buy a portfolio of 97 private equity fund interests from its parent Deutsche Bank with a total value of $415 million. It will also buy other secondary fund interests and portfolios of direct investments. The fund will be led by Charles Smith, RREEF's global head of private equity, and Carlo Pirzio-Biroli.
VITRUVIAN HOLDS FIRST CLOSE ON €424M
UK mid-market firm Vitruvian Partners has held a first close on its debut fund on €424 million ($571 million). The fund has a final target of €900 million. Veteran Apax partner Toby Wyles founded Vitruvian in October 2006 to target mid-market opportunities. Wyles was cohead of Apax's European leveraged team when he left in 2003. Vitruvian, which is named after the Leonardo da Vinci drawing of the Vitruvian Man, has recruited Michael Risman and David Nahama from Apax, Ian Riley from BC Partners, and CFO Mark Hartford from Bridgepoint.
AKSÌA CLOSES THIRD FUND ON €150M
Italian mid-market firm Aksìa Capital has closed its third fund on €150 million ($202 million). Investors in the fund include Partners Group, Gartmore, Bear Sterns, JP Morgan and Parish Capital. The fund has made one investment to date, when it bought a majority stake in Robuschi, an Italian industrial pumps manufacturer, for €30 million. Aksìa is owned and managed by three Italian investment veterans: Nicola Emanuele, Stefano Guidotti and Marco Rayneri.
BERTELSMANN RAISES EBN BUYOUT FUND
German media company Bertelsmann has teamed up with Citigroup and Morgan Stanley to raise a €1 billion buyout funds to target private equity opportunities in the media sector. Bertelsmann will contribute about €500 million ($673 million) to the fund, while Citigroup and Morgan Stanley will each invest €250 million. It is thought that the fund is already targeting its first deal, an investment in Thomson Learning, a Canadian-owned educational publisher thought to be worth about $5 billion. The fund will be led by Bertelsmann's chief financial officer Thomas Rabe. The company is also thought to be launching a €50 million venture fund.
AIG CLOSES ITS SECOND CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE FUND
AIG Capital Partners has closed AIG New Europe Fund II on €523 million ($695 million). The fund will invest in companies in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. It will be led by Pierre Mellinger in Warsaw. The firm's first fund dedicated to investment in the region closed in 1999 on $321 million. AIG Capital Partners is the private equity business of AIG Global Investment Group, and manages about $20 billion in private equity assets.