KKR & Co. has closed its latest flagship private equity fund, KKR Americas XII Fund, at $13.9 billion, confirmed Alexander Navab, KKR member and head of Americas private equity.
The fund, which will invest primarily in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, is 54% larger than its predecessor fund, the $9 billion North America Fund XI, which closed in December 2013, and is its largest Americas-focused fund.
KKR will be investing $1.4 billion in the fund from KKR’s balance sheet and employee commitments, its largest commitment to a flagship fund. The fund can make buyout, growth equity and minority investments. It can also invest in public companies.
“Over time, we have gotten more (investment) flexibility” as the limited partners have grown comfortable that KKR can perform well making growth investments and investments in companies in which it does not have control, Mr. Navab said.
Over the past two years, KKR has acquired shares of public companies, he said. These are companies that KKR consider great investments but that are not for sale. These investments give KKR a competitive edge if company executives decide to go private but are investments KKR executives have determined will offer good returns to investors even if the company remains public, Mr. Navab said.
Investors in the fund include the Washington State Investment Board, Olympia, which oversees $112.4 billion in assets, including $84 billion in defined benefit assets; Oregon Investment Council, Tigard, which runs the $70.5 billion Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, Salem; $12.4 billion Maine Public Employees Retirement System, Augusta; and $9.5 billion Chicago Public School Teachers’ Pension & Retirement Fund.