Private Equity's Golden Age Wasn't So Golden After All

  • Buying spree heralded by KKR has yielded mediocre returns
  • Investors would have fared better with money in an index fund

KKR & Co. Co-Founder Henry Kravis.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Henry Kravis called it private equity’s golden age. From 2005 to 2007, buyout firms paid fat prices to buy about 20 supersized companies, from Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. to Hertz Global Holdings Inc.

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