KKR European fund close imminent

A final close for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’s second European fund could be announced in the coming weeks, according to market sources. The fund is said to have corralled €4.5 billion in commitments.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is about to wrap up its second European fund, KKR European Fund II, as sources told PEO that a final close of €4.5 billion ($5.4 billion) is imminent. The firm had reportedly been looking to raise around €3 billion, according to news stories released when the firm first began looking at a successor fund. According to the same source, the fund was oversubscribed.

Johannes Huth, managing director, KKR

The New York-based firm has making significant traction globally this year, with news coming last month that it would launch offices in Asia. The European focus, however, has been a staple for the group since the late nineties, when the firm first started making headway in the summer of 1998 with the purchase of insurance brokerage Willis Corroon.

The firm reportedly started fundraising for its inaugural European vehicle the next year, and poached London dealmaker Johannes Huth from Investcorp to join Edward Gilhuly at the fund, which ultimately raised around €3 billion dedicated to the continent.

The expected close on the firm’s follow-up vehicle comes amid a shakeup at the firm in which Gilhuly, along with Scott Stuart, left to launch his own investment firm. Gilhuly, who has been credited with much of KKR’s success in Europe, had already moved back to the US last year, with Huth assuming the role as the head of KKR’s London office.

Last month, KKR further bolstered its European office with the hire of Christina Pamberg to head up the group’s European investor relations and co-investment duties. Pamberg came to KKR from fund-of-funds manager HarbourVest, where she was a vice president and participated in the firm’s fundraising efforts and managed its secondary transactions.

Meanwhile, in other news, the firm today closed its purchase of SBS Broadcasting, a Western and Central European television and radio broadcasting outfit. KKR teamed up with Permira for the €2.01 billion deal.