KKR's attempt to go public again bodes well for economy

A stock board at the New York Stock Exchange

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: The private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, better known as KKR, is taking another shot at going public. It tried once before back in 2007, but the financial crisis squashed that, and the fact that it's trying again is a big deal, as Marketplace's Alisa Roth explains.


Alisa Roth: Over the years, KKR has bought up all kinds of companies: RJR Nabisco, Toys R Us, TXU, the Texas utility.

Steve Kaplan is a finance professor at the University of Chicago. He says KKR is an icon in the world of finance.

Steve Kaplan: KKR really created the leverage buyout and private equity. They are the oldest name in the business, probably the best known.

Going public may be a milestone for the company. It's also way for the co-founders, Henry Kravis and George Roberts, to cash in on the KKR brand, and for the company to diversify.

David Brophy is a finance professor at the University of Michigan. He says it's also a good sign for the economy:

David Brophy: One thing you should be heartened by is that this possibly indicates the return of the IPO market.

After the sale next week, the founders will own about a quarter of the company.

In New York, I'm Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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