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KKR shares jump after private equity firm announces structuring change

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Key Points
  • Private equity firm KKR says it plans to convert to a corporation from a partnership, effective July 1.
  • As a corporation, KKR plans to pay an annualized dividend of 50 cents per common share and increase its authorized share repurchase amount to $500 million.
Henry Kravis, co-founder of KKR
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

KKR shares jumped Thursday after the private equity firm announced a plan to convert to a corporation from a partnership.

Shares traded more than 3.5 percent higher Thursday morning. During the premarket, it had gained as much as 10 percent. A corporation allows shareholders to receive more of a company's profits than a partnership, in which the partners have a greater stake.

The conversion to a corporation will become effective July 1, the company said in an earnings release Thursday.

As a corporation, KKR plans to pay an annualized dividend of 50 cents per common share and increase its authorized share repurchase amount to $500 million.

"KKR's conversion from a partnership to a corporation is designed to broaden our investor base, simplify our structure and make it easier to invest in our shares," Henry R. Kravis and George R. Roberts, co-chairmen and co-CEOs of KKR, said in a statement.

"We believe this change, together with continued strong performance, will increase our ability to generate significant long-term equity value for all of our shareholders," they said.

The private equity firm also reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations on the top and bottom lines, according to FactSet.

Shares of other private equity companies rose Thursday morning. Blackstone traded just over half a percent higher, as did Apollo Global Management. Carlyle gained more than 2.5 percent.