NEW YORK Feb 7 KKR & Co LP said the
fourth quarter of 2012 was its strongest yet as a publicly
listed alternative asset manager, as exits from private equity
investments delivered a record amount of cash for itself and its
Buoyant equity and debt markets have offered buyout firms an
opportunity to profitably exit some of their investments and
lifted the value of assets in their funds. Blackstone Group LP
also put in a strong showing with its earnings last week.
"Our private equity portfolio and our balance sheet both
appreciated 24 percent in 2012, outperforming the S&P 500 and
MSCI World indices by over 700 basis points," Henry Kravis and
George Roberts, KKR's co-founders and co-chief executives, said
in a statement on Thursday.
KKR said fourth-quarter economic net income, a measure of
profitability which takes into account the mark-to-market
valuation of its assets, came in at $347.7 million, compared
with $285.5 million a year ago.
Total distributable earnings, which are used to pay
dividends, jumped from $146.5 million in the fourth quarter of
2011 to $546.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
A handful of low-profile transactions drove the rise in
earnings, delivering in aggregate more cash than KKR's $6.7
billion sale of a stake in pharmacy group Alliance Boots GmbH,
which dominated the buyout firm's third-quarter earnings.
The cash-outs booked in the fourth quarter included the sale
of shares in discount retailer Dollar General Corp, a
sale of shares and a dividend payment at hospital operator HCA
Holdings Inc, and the divestment of its remaining stakes
in semiconductor company Avago Technologies and chemicals maker
Rockwood Holdings Inc.
KKR, whose investments include retailer Toys R US Inc and
internet domain registration company Go Daddy Group Inc, said
assets under management rose to $75.5 billion at the end of
December from $66.3 billion at the end of September, thanks
mainly to its acquisition of Prisma Capital Partners LP, a hedge
KKR announced a fourth-quarter distribution of 70 cents per
common unit, its highest ever. It also said its had returned
over $9 billion in 2012 to its private equity investors, the
most in a year in its 36-year history.