Kravis Wraps Up CVCA Conference

Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) ended its annual conference today and President Rick Nathan is already looking forward to next year’s gathering, which will be held in Montreal.

One of the bright spots at this year’s event, held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was the amount of investors the conference attracted. More than 500 VC and PE investors, most of them coming from Canada, attended the conference.

The keynote speaker Tuesday night was Henry Kravis, who talked why it was important for investors to do all they can to improve their portfolio companies.

During the Q&A session after his speech, Kravis didn’t delve too deeply into Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.’s bid for Canadian telecom giant BCE Inc., except to remind the audience that KKR would be a minority partner in any buyout, as dictated by Canadian laws which restrict the foreign ownership of a telecom to less than 50 percent.

Kravis also declined to discuss his firm’s bid for BCE, which KKR is making through a consortium that includes Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec.

“If we’re lucky enough to be successful, we will be working with a few terrific Canadian companies, and we’ll be a minority investor,” Kravis said.