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KKR Said to Near $2 Billion for Second Asia Fund

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- KKR & Co., the buyout firm co-founded by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, is gathering $2 billion in the first round of capital raising for a new Asia fund, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

KKR, based in New York, is seeking as much as $6 billion for the fund, and plans a so-called first close in June, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

The fund will be KKR’s second targeting Asia, where private-equity investment jumped 38 percent from 2009 to last year according to estimates from Asian Venture Capital Journal. Carlyle Group LP and TPG Capital are also amassing regional funds as Asia’s economies outpace the U.S. and Europe.

Steven Okun, a spokesman for KKR in Asia, declined to comment on the new fund.

KKR is offering investors in its KKR Asian Fund II the option of a lower management fee or a greater share of commissions levied on its portfolio companies, according to marketing documents obtained by Bloomberg News in December.

KKR raised $4 billion for its first Asia fund in 2007. That fund was generating an 11.3 percent net internal rate of return as of Sept. 30, according to the marketing documents.

Fifty-three funds were attempting to raise a total of $22.3 billion to invest exclusively in Asia as of last month, according to data compiled by Preqin Ltd., a London-based research firm.

KKR established a presence in Asia in late 2005 and now has six offices in the region with 45 investment professionals. It has made 22 investments in Asia, investing and committing about $4.6 billion in equity, the marketing documents showed.

The buyout firm said last month its first-quarter profit rose 4.6 percent to $683.8 million, beating analysts’ estimates as the carrying value of its holdings rose.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sabrina Willmer in New York at swillmer2@bloomberg.net; Cathy Chan in Hong Kong at kchan14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Lagerkranser at lagerkranser@bloomberg.net

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