KKR's Kravis: "really tough" to buy controlling stakes in emerging markets

MUMBAI Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:30am EST

MUMBAI Feb 20 (Reuters) - Global private equity firm KKR & Co LP co-founder Henry Kravis on Thursday said buying controlling stakes in companies is "really tough" in emerging markets, and is particularly hard in India because of the prevalent family-owned business structure.

Private equity firms are increasingly seeking majority-control buyouts in India because economic growth - at its slowest in a decade - and a weak rupee - which fell 11 percent last year - are bringing down corporate profits and so making companies cheaper.

Indian companies, mostly family-owned, have long been averse to selling out, preferring to raise funds by borrowing from banks or going public. But a dormant capital market and high interest rates are pushing them to cut deals with PE firms instead.