KKR shares fall on first day

Associated Press / July 16, 2010

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NEW YORK — Shares of KKR & Co. dropped in their market debut. They opened yesterday at $10.50, under the symbol KKR, but fell 30 cents, or 2.9 percent, to close at $10.20.

The company said last week that it would register 204.9 million common units worth about $1.93 billion, and may later raise about $500 million in a share offering.

The parent of private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has had a long journey toward a US listing. KKR & Co. LP first sought to list its shares in 2007, hoping to raise up to $1.25 billion, after competitor Blackstone Group LP raised $4.1 billion in an initial public offering. It shelved those plans due to the financial crisis.

Instead, KKR began a complicated transition back to a New York listing by first merging with its European arm, KKR Guernsey. It was dissolved, and Guernsey stockholders swapped their holdings for US-listed stock.