KKR, the prominent U.S. buyout firm that helped to create the leveraged buyout industry, filed with regulators on Tuesday to raise up to $1.25 billion in an initial public offering
of common units.
The planned IPO follows last month's high-profile listing of rival Blackstone Group, which raised $4.13 billion and ushered in a new era for an industry that has come to dominate financial markets worldwide by pursuing ever-larger takeovers and raising record amounts of capital.
Unlike the Blackstone IPO, however, KKR's owners are not selling any common units or receiving any net proceeds.
Blackstone's co-founders, Stephen Schwarzman, 60, and Peter Peterson, 81, earned a huge windfall from the Blackstone offering, pocketing more than $2.4 billion between them.
Founded in 1976, KKR is led by founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts, both 63. The firm rose to prominence on the back of the debt-fueled leverage buyout (LBO) craze of the 1980s.
It carried out its first $1 billion LBO in 1984 and was involved in dozens of deals building up to the decade-defining 1988-1989 buyout of RJR Nabisco -- at the time the largest ever buyout of a commercial firm -- which was immortalized in the bestseller "Barbarians at the Gate."