KKR Turns Eye Toward Asia

KKR Turns Eye Toward Asia by PitchBook

KKR has been the fifth most-active PE investor in Asia since the start of 2006, according to the PitchBook Platform. Now, the firm has reportedly made one move and is planning another to strengthen its position on the continent.

First, KKR has hired Ashish Shastry, formerly a top executive at Northstar Group, to head its operations in Southeast Asia starting later this year, according to multiple reports. Earlier in August, KKR and Northstar were co-investors on a $550 million backing of Go-Jek, an Indonesian ridesharing business.

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KKR

Second, KKR is planning to launch a new Pan-Asian fund by the end of the year that will target between $6 billion and $7 billion, according to the Asian Venture Capital Journal. The fund’s predecessor, KKR Asian Fund II, closed on $6 billion in 2013.

KKR’s recent activity in Asia has been on the uptick, with deal count increasing every year since 2012 and reaching a peak of 14 transactions in 2015. Among the firm’s more notable recent deals in the region were a take-private buyout of Singapore’s United Envirotech that valued the company at about SGD1.9 billion ($1.4 billion) and the acquisition of a controlling stake in South Korean mobile commerce company Ticket Monster at a $782 million valuation.