KKR & Co. co-founder Henry Kravis is scouting for opportunities in Italy, a move that could lead the US private equity giant to boost its investments in the country, according to people familiar with the matter.
(Bloomberg) — KKR & Co. co-founder Henry Kravis is scouting for opportunities in Italy, a move that could lead the US private equity giant to boost its investments in the country, according to people familiar with the matter.
Kravis, 79, planned meetings in Milan at the end of this week with top officials from at least three Italian private companies in the technology, manufacturing and automation sectors to review their business plans, the people said, asking not to be identified because the meetings aren’t public.
A person close to the fund said KKR’s leaders regularly visit the countries in which the firm invests. KKR declined to comment.
Kravis’s visit to the country comes just two weeks before KKR is due to make a binding offer for Telecom Italia SpA’s landline network, expected by Sept. 30. The deal — the first of its kind for a European carrier — may be valued at as much as €23 billion ($24.7 billion) and would transform the former Italian phone monopoly, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg at the time.
The deal, one of Italy’s largest, will also receive backing from the government, which agreed to take a stake of as much as 20% in Telecom Italia’s grid as Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni asserts greater state oversight of strategic assets. Still, Kravis hasn’t planned any meetings with government officials, the people added.
READ MORE: Henry Kravis Builds Own Venture Portfolio Outside of KKR
KKR is one of the world’s largest private equity firms, managing about $520 billion of assets. The firm’s biggest investment in Italy is a €1.8 billion stake in Telecom Italia’s fiber business, a unit called Fibercop.
Earlier this year KKR closed its largest-ever European buyout fund, giving it fresh capital for deals at a time when private equity firms are navigating volatile markets. The company received commitments of $8 billion, including more than $1 billion from its own balance sheet and employees.
Kravis has a net worth of about $11 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
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