Henry Kravis: how the corporate titan rocked Wall street

In 1976 KKR rocked Wall Street

KKR & Co. L.P. (formerly known as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.) is an American multinational private equity firm, specialising in leveraged buyouts, headquartered in New York. The firm sponsors and manages private equity investment funds. Since its inception, the firm has completed over $400 billion of private equity transactions and was a pioneer in the leveraged buyout industry.

The firm was founded in 1976 by Jerome Kohlberg, Jr., and cousins Henry Kravis and George R. Roberts, all of whom had previously worked together at Bear Stearns, where they completed some of the earliest leveraged buyout transactions. Since its founding, KKR has completed a number of landmark transactions including the 1989 leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco, which was the largest buyout in history to that point, as well as the 2007 buyout of TXU, which is currently the largest buyout completed to date. KKR has completed investments in over 160 companies since 1977, completing at least one investment in every year except in 1982 and in 1990.

KKR is headquartered in New York City with 13 additional offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. In October 2009, KKR listed shares in the company, through KKR & Co. an affiliate that holds 30% of the firm’s ownership equity, with the remainder held by the firm’s partners. In March 2010, KKR filed to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, with trading commencing four months later, on July 15, 2010.

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