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Capital Calls KKR gets a down-round feeling Down Under

3 minute read

Australian dollar notes and coins can be seen in a cash register at a store in Sydney, Australia, February 11, 2016. The Australian and New Zealand dollars rose to their highest in nearly a week on Thursday as the greenback stayed on the defensive after the head of the Federal Reserve gave investors no reason to expect U.S. rates will be lifted any time soon. REUTERS/David Gray - GF10000304063

HONG KONG, March 31 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Concise insights on global finance in the Covid-19 era.

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THIRD TIME TRICKY. KKR’s (KKR.N) efforts to take cash out of its Australian lender have hit another snag. On Wednesday the private-equity firm and fellow investors Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) and Värde Partners filed to take non-bank Latitude Financial (LFS.AX) public at A$2.6 billion ($2 billion). It’s their third attempt to list the company. But the price is a 13% discount to a deal the owners struck to sell a tenth of the company to Japan’s Shinsei Bank (8303.T) less than three weeks ago.

That’s a remarkably quick change. Shinsei gets to improve its terms too, now buying 5% at the original price and the rest at the valuation touted in initial public offering prospectus. The implied internal rate of return for the business KKR and partners bought from GE (GE.N) in 2015 drops a tad to 14% excluding dividends, Breakingviews calculates. There’s room to improve as they’ll still own around two-thirds of the lender after the share sale but it’s hardly an auspicious start. (By Antony Currie)

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Edited by Antony Currie and Katrina Hamlin

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