KKR & Co.’s billionaire co-founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts received more than $161 million each last year, an increase of more than 17 percent from 2012, as the firm took advantage of rising equity markets to sell shares in companies.
Kravis and Roberts, both 70, earned $300,000 salaries and $44 million in mostly carried interest, or their share of investment profits, according to a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Kravis received $117.2 million in dividends from his ownership of stock in New York-based KKR, bringing his total to $161.4 million, and Roberts got $121.4 million in dividends for a payout of $165.5 million.
KKR sold positions in HCA Holdings Inc. and Dollar General Corp., helping it offset difficulties at its Energy Future Holdings Corp. investment, which is said to have proposed bankruptcy options. KKR in the first quarter last year altered its dividend policy to pay out 40 percent of earnings to shareholders from its balance sheet investments each quarter, in addition to the traditional fee earnings and cash profits. That resulted in a full-year dividend of $1.40 a share, compared with $1.22 in 2012.
“We’ve been active on the monetization front,” Scott Nuttall, KKR’s head of global capital and asset management, said on a conference call earlier this month, referring to selling stakes in companies. “Last year we participated in 30 liquidity events, distributing over $9 billion of cash to our fund investors. We’ve also seen an increase in strategic exits.”
After-tax profit rose 5.2 percent last year. In addition to selling, KKR was the most active private-equity firm to do new deals in 2013, according to research firm Dealogic, investing more than $17 billion in 34 companies.
Kravis and Roberts, who are cousins, founded KKR in 1976 with their partner Jerome Kohlberg, who left the firm in 1987. KKR’s success has given Kravis a net worth of $5.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and Roberts a net worth of $5.2 billion.