KKR raises $2B for KKR Special Situations Fund

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Jan 09, 2014 01:06 AM EST

Private equity giant KKR & Co raised $2 billion for the KKR Special Situations Fund that will seek to give financing to distressed firms around the world, Bloomberg reported. KKR is a private equity firm based in New York run by Henry Kravis and George Roberts.

Jamie Weinstein, KKR's San Francisco-based Co-Head of Special Situations told Bloomberg that the new fund will look for opportunities in North America, Europe and Asia. He said that majority of the distressed debt and rescue lending opportunities are seen in Europe where businesses are still in the process of de-leveraging after the financial crisis in 2008.

In an interview, Weinstein told Bloomberg, "Europe is far from played out. It's been slow to develop."

KKR is growing is credit business as competitors like Blackstone Group are filling the lending gap left by European lenders. The banks are divesting assets in order to comply with the new Basel III capital rules.

In September, Blackstone's GSO Capital Partners said it was able to raise a $5 billion fund that will give financing to distressed companies in the US and Europe.

Weinstein and London-based Co-Head of Special Situations Nathaniel Zilkha oversea a global team comprised of 15 people. The group forms part of KKR's credit unit, KKR Asset Management, which has around $20.9 billion of assets under management. The unit mainly invests in high-yield corporate debt.

The KKR Special Situations Fund has already deployed around 30% of its committed capital. It started raising money in 2012, the report said.

Zilkha said the fund acquired a 51% stake of the senior loans of Winoa Group so it could get control of the equity of the French steel abrasives firm. The fund also gave rescue financing worth an estimated €328 million or $445 million for Spain-based building materials manufacturer Uralita's insulation division.

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