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Robert Trigaux

Henry Kravis' proudest deal? A local one



Henrykravisap Here's an unexpected answer with a local spin from dealmaker extraordinaire and private equity's elite player, Henry Kravis of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., when Forbes magazine asks:

Looking back on your career, which deal are you the most proud of? 

Kravis had plenty of choices, including the whopper $30 billion leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco. His answer? Tampa's  Walter Industries (which changed its name last week to Walter Energy), a deal KKR did 22 years ago. Here's what Kravis said: 

"No, it wasn’t Safeway where we made 50 times our money. It was Walter Industries which we bought in 1987. The company went into bankruptcy because of an asbestos litigation while we were holding it. We could have walked away but we fought it through. After 17 years we returned money to our investors." 

You never know 'til you ask. (Kravis photo by AP.)

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:24am]


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