KKR & Co., the buyout firm run by George Roberts and Henry Kravis, will close down two funds targeting individual investors in a setback to private-equity firms’ efforts to attract money from individuals and eventually the $4 trillion market for 401(k) retirement plans.
Blackstone Group LP President Tony James said the “good times” are just starting for private- equity firms because the U.S. economic recovery is still in its early stages, Europe has stabilized and China is rebounding.
Tony James, president of Blackstone Group LP, said campaigns criticizing the private equity industry in the wake of Mitt Romney’s run for the Republican presidential nomination will hurt fundraising and buyouts.
Blackstone Group LP raised more than $4 billion in 2009 to buy European property assets anticipating that cash-strapped banks would be forced to sell as the region’s debt crisis worsened. Almost all of it sat idle for two years.
Private equity, an investing trade plied by 4,500 firms with $3 trillion in assets, is bracing for a shakeout that’s been brewing since the collapse of credit markets choked off a record leveraged-buyout binge.