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KKR Said to Consider Postponing Share Sale After Market Decline

KKR & Co. LP, the private-equity firm run by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, may postpone a plan to sell $500 million in new shares after moving its public listing to the U.S. from Europe, according to two people with knowledge of the plans.

The New York-based firm still intends to shift its listing to the New York Stock Exchange from Amsterdam, a move that may be completed by next month, said the people, who declined to be named because the discussions are private. The share offering, designed to fund expansion and potential acquisitions, depends on the stock market’s performance, they said.

KKR, which filed last month to sell new shares, has dropped 15 percent in Amsterdam in the past three months and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 5 percent, amid concern the global economic recovery may slow. Blackstone Group LP, the world’s largest private-equity company, has lost 27 percent during that same period.

“It’s going to be tough for KKR to attract buyers who will sustain the issue price,” said David Menlow, president of Millburn, New Jersey-based “Investors look at the entire group with a jaundiced eye because the firms are having trouble returning capital to clients, a factor that will ultimately determine whether they can raise new funds.”

KKR spokeswoman Kristi Huller declined to comment.

KKR’s journey to an NYSE listing started almost three years ago, when it filed to sell shares weeks before the global credit crisis crippled equity and debt markets. The firm scrapped that plan, opting to merge with its publicly traded European fund, a combination that was completed last year.

KKR, founded in 1976 by Kravis and Roberts, indicated earlier this year it would proceed with a plan to shift its listing to the NYSE, joining Blackstone and Fortress Investment Group LLC as private-equity managers who are publicly listed.

Apollo Global Management LLC, the investment firm run by Leon Black, is in the process of listing its shares on the NYSE after selling stock in 2007 through a private exchange run by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

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