Fresh Barbarians at the Gates?

Private-equity firms are eyeing some very big targets. Deals for Time Warner, Vivendi, or Unilever would easily eclipse RJR Nabisco's long-standing record

The pace of change on Wall Street is fast and furious, and few records hold for long. Yet after 18 years, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.'s (KKR) $31.4 billion acquisition of RJR Nabisco in 1988 remains the largest buyout of a company ever by a private investor.

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