KKR seeks $15 billion for flagship North America buyout fund

KKR & Co Inc aims to attract at least $15 billion for its flagship North America private equity fund, which would make it the second largest amount raised for a fund managed by the U.S. firm, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. Buyout firms are seeking to tap cheap and plentiful financing for acquisitions amid rising corporate valuations, as economies start recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

FILE PHOTO: Trading information for KKR & Co is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 23, 2018.
Several investors have committed to KKR’s new fund, North America XIII, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the matter was confidential, adding that the target included money KKR employees would contribute.

It will be the largest pool of capital KKR has attracted since its KKR 2006 Fund raised $17.6 billion.

A spokeswoman for New York-based KKR, which now has $234 billion in assets under management, declined to comment.

KKR Americas XII Fund raised $13.9 billion in 2017 and delivered 20% growth by June 2020, according to the website of Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, one of the investors.

This means the fund ranks in the top quartile of all private equity funds of that vintage based on its financial performance, according to Cambridge Associates.

KKR North America Fund XI raised $9 billion in 2013 and delivered 100% growth by June 2020, the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund website said.

North America XIII is the first fund in the region to be raised since KKR promoted Pete Stavros and Nate Taylor to co-heads of the private equity business in the Americas.

Stavros previously led KKR’s investments in the industrial and healthcare sectors, while Taylor oversaw investments in the retail, consumer and technology sectors.

KKR said it expected its assets under management to reach $311 billion after completing the $4.4 billion acquisition of annuities and life insurance provider Global Atlantic Financial Group Ltd in the first quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.