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KKR calls on world’s biggest pension fund to join it in buyout deals

23 May 2014

Japanese flag poleGlobal buyout giant KKR has urged the world’s largest pension fund to start investing in private equity so it can team up with it on deals, it is understood.

KKR’s Japan head Hirofumi Hirano told the country’s $1.26tn Government Pension Investment Fund it would be encouraging other public pensions to back private equity if GPIF began investing in the asset class, Reuters reported.

It said Japan’s current government is working on legislation to overhaul GPIF’s governance in order to move it away from the passive, low-risk investments it has made in yen bonds for the past decade.

KKR raised Asia’s biggest ever buyout fund last summer by holding a $6bn final close for its second vehicle dedicated to the region.

The firm has built a strong presence in Asia since closing its debut regional vehicle on $4bn in 2007 and raising a separate $1bn China growth vehicle.

Investors were attracted by exits such as its partial sale of China Modern Dairy, which netted it a 2.9-times return in May, and a five-times return exiting Japanese recruitment group Intelligence.

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