KKR eyes profit from climate change fight, sustainability through $1.3bn debut impact fund

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KKR is betting on the climate change fight and sustainable development as sources of potential profit after raising a weighty $1.3bn for its debut impact investment fund.

The buyout giant said it was investment more than $130m of its own capital into the KKR Global Impact Fund, which will target companies providing commercial solutions to environmental or social challenges.

KKR said it was targeting standard private equity risk-adjusted returns through the vehicle, by investing in companies in the lower mid-market that contribute measurable progress toward one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

A statement from KKR Global Impact co-heads Robert Antablin and Ken Mehlman said, “The UN SDGS were developed to mobilize citizens, policymakers, technologists and investors to address global challenges.

“As investors, we have a significant role to play in building businesses that contribute to SDG solutions while also generating financial returns for our fund investors by doing so.”

Investment areas highlighted by KKR include mitigating and adapting to climate change, protecting clean water, learning and workforce development, responsible waste management, leveraging technology to enhance safety, mobility and sustainability, serving globally conscious consumers healthier and more sustainable products and services, and upgrading declining industry and infrastructure.

KKR launched its global impact business in 2018, and has since made deals through the unit including Barghest Building Performance, Ramky Enviro Engineers, KnowBe4, Burning Glass, and the formation of a wastewater treatment platform.

Alisa Amarosa Wood, KKR partner and head of the firm’s private market products group, said, “We are thrilled to see our investors’ shared enthusiasm for the tremendous opportunity we see ahead for KKR Global Impact and will build on this to help set the new standard across investing, value creation and measuring success in the space.”

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