KKR Files for NYSE Listing

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co KKR.UL has filed to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, moving forward with its two-year effort to become a publicly traded company.

New York-based KKR has been planning for two years to follow rival Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) in becoming a publicly traded company, but was held up by market turmoil.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, KKR said it would list 204.9 million common units worth about $2.2 billion and trade under the symbol KKR on the NYSE.

The units represent a 30 percent interest in KKR. The remaining 70 percent will be held by principals.

Led by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, the private equity firm had $52.2 billion in assets under management at the end of 2009. Since its founding 1976, the firm has completed more than 170 private equity investments with a total transaction value of more than $425 billion.

The deal to become a publicly traded entity involved combining with KKR Private Equity Investors LP (KKR.AS), a Guernsey limited partnership traded on Euronext and known as KPE.

KKR said at the time of the combination that either KKR or KPE would have the right to require the other to use “reasonable best efforts” to list the combined business in the United States.

KKR originally announced plans to list on the NYSE via a traditional initial public offering in July 2007, a month after Blackstone went public and just before the markets started to tumble.

KKR later proposed the more complex method of going public, and last June it formally withdrew the traditional IPO plan but kept the door open for an NYSE move.