KKR to back new vehicle for industrial company acquisitions

NEW YORK, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Private equity firm KKR & Co Inc (KKR.N) told Reuters on Tuesday it will invest up to $250 million in a new company led by industrial sector veterans to acquire and build businesses, with a focus on the testing, inspection and certification sectors.

Andrew Silvernail, a former chief executive of pump manufacturer IDEX Corp (IEX.N), will serve as chairman of the new venture, while Amit Agarwal, a former Thermo Fisher Scientic Inc (TMO.N) vice president, will serve as its chief executive. The name of the new venture was not provided.

KKR's investment was made out of the KKR Ascendant Fund, which aims to acquire middle-market businesses in North America. The fund had amassed $1.82 billion from investors as of last month, regulatory filings showed.

KKR said it plans to implement its flagship employee stock ownership program, which is targeted at non-management staff, across companies owned by the new venture.

KKR's industrials team sits under its Americas private equity platform, which has more than $90 billion in assets under management.

Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Kim Coghill

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