Kravis was raised the son of a petroleum engineer in Tulsa Oklahoma. After prep school Kravis attended Claremont McKenna College followed by Columbia’s MBA program.
Kravis did leverage buyouts at Bear Stearns under manager Jerry Kohlberg. After making partner at age 30 Kravis left with his cousin George Roberts and Kohlberg.
Kravis started KKR in 1976 with $400,000 in overhead from investors. Kravis’ capitalized on his success as an investment banker to generate interest in his new private equity firm.
In 1979, KKR completed the first buyout of a publicly held company. In the early 1980s, Kravis became symbolic of wealth and glamor while married to Carolyne Roehm.
After a 6.2 million buyout, Jerry Kohlberg left KKR in 1987. Competition arose over RJR Nabisco, buoyed by press coverage.
In the early 1990s, Kravis suffered the loss of his son and divorce; he sold holdings in RJR Nabisco in 1995. In 2010 the company went public after turning around their pattern of decline.
Credits: Henry Kravis
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His name is synonymous with "Corporate Titan." As co-founder of KKR, Henry Kravis re-wrote the rules of leveraged buyouts. He and his cousin George Roberts now rule over an empire that dwarfs some of the world’s mightiest public corporations. This program follows Kravis’ rise from his early days in ‘bootstrap’ acquisitions through his role in the 1988 landmark LBO of RJR-Nabisco to KKR’s IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.
Length: 26 minutes
Copyright date: ©2010
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