“KKR Eyes Dead Billionnaire’s Phoenix Group-Source”
That comes from our Reuters news colleagues, who needed just seven words to make KKR sound like a firm full of soulless vultures. Here’s the lede:
Private equity investor Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is examining a bid for the drugs wholesale business Phoenix, which was owned by the late Adolf Merckle, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.
German industrialist Merckle’s empire is being broken up months after the billionaire, faced with financial ruin, threw himself in front of a train.
Last month, his son started auctioning the family’s businesses — HeidelbergCement, generics drugmaker Ratiopharm and Phoenix.
And on Thursday a source told Reuters that KKR, which owns Britain’s Alliance Boots, is considering a bid for Phoenix, one of the first signals that the Merckle break-up is gathering momentum. “The two businesses would be a perfect match,” he said.
If the business is sold, it would go some way to repaying the 5 billion euros of debt that Adolf Merckle racked up before he committed suicide.