Kkr Plays A Slower Game

But new strategies are breaking fresh ground

Last October, Ronald E. Compton, the chairman of Aetna Life & Casualty Co., sat down for dinner at New York's Plaza Hotel with Henry Kravis and George R. Roberts, who run Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Compton wanted to sell the Hartford insurance giant's American Re-Insurance Co. to KKR, a deal the two companies' staff had been discussing for four months. During the dinner, both sides agreed to go forward. But it took eight months before the two sides announced the $1.2 billion deal this June.

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