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KKR unveils initiative to invest in infrastructure assets

Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has launched a new initiative to invest in global infrastructure assets, to be led by George Bilicic, who is joining KKR’s New York office as a

Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has launched a new initiative to invest in global infrastructure assets, to be led by George Bilicic, who is joining KKR’s New York office as a managing director and head of infrastructure. Bilicic joins KKR from Lazard where he was a managing director and headed the firm’s power, energy and infrastructure activities.

KKR is building an investment team to focus specifically on global infrastructure opportunities and will work with Bilicic to identify experienced investment and operating executives. The team will have a presence in Europe, Asia, and the US an, will collaborate with KKR’s other industry groups, drawing on the firm’s experience in strengthening companies’ operations and investing in complex and regulated businesses.

Johannes Huth, head of KKR’s European operations, and Marc Lipschultz and Fred Goltz, co-heads of the firm’s energy, power and natural resources industry group, will oversee the new initiative.

KKR has also announced that senior advisors John F. Bookout III and Clint Johnstone will work closely with Bilicic and the infrastructure team in seeking out, evaluating and overseeing investments. Bookout was for 28 years a director of McKinsey, where he headed the firm’s North American and European energy practices, and most recently was responsible for the firm’s 17 global industry practices.

Johnstone was a long-time executive with Bechtel Group, a global leader in developing, managing, and constructing civil infrastructure, where he was chief financial officer and president of the divisions serving the global systems, US infrastructure and global telecommunications industry sectors.

‘Infrastructure is a multi-trillion dollar global marketplace with enormous need for private investment,’ say KKR co-founders Henry R. Kravis and George R. Roberts. ‘KKR recognizes the important role infrastructure investing plays in the growth of both developed and developing economies.

‘This new initiative is a logical extension of our business, building on the significant expertise we have established by investing in large, complex and regulated businesses and our record of driving operational improvements in a wide range of industries.

‘We look forward to supporting George as he builds a team that will partner with private sector businesses as well as governments around the world to improve and expand the infrastructure assets and services on which we all rely.’

KKR’s investment experience in regulated businesses involving significant infrastructure includes Energy Future Holdings (formerly TXU), which owns transmission and distribution, electricity generation and retail businesses, and ITC Holdings, the largest pure transmission company in the US.

Bilicic joined Lazard as a managing director in March 2002. He recently completed a spell as head of Lazard’s Midwest advisory business, in addition to his work in power, energy and infrastructure, and also has worked with selected companies in other sectors. He advised TXU in its acquisition of the company by KKR and TPG.

Bilicic was previously a partner with the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions, but also advised on bank financings, joint ventures, public offerings, project finance, and swaps and other derivatives.

Established in 1976, KKR sponsors and managing funds that make private equity investments in North America, Europe, and Asia, and has offices in New York, Menlo Park, San Francisco, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo.

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