KKR, a leading global investment firm, today announced the final close of KKR Asia Credit Opportunities Fund ("ACOF" or the "Fund"), a US$1.1 billion fund focused on performing privately originated credit investments in Asia Pacific.
"Our credit strategy is highly complementary to our existing equity strategies in Asia, and the close of ACOF represents a significant milestone for KKR in Asia Pacific as we continue to build out our suite of investment capabilities and capital solutions across asset classes," said Ming Lu, Head of KKR Asia Pacific. "Asia continues to benefit from favorable macroeconomic trends and long-term growth. However, the number of financing options available to companies looking to keep pace with this rapid growth has remained limited. We believe these dynamics provide an attractive landscape for alternative asset managers like KKR who are able to provide more flexible and differentiated credit solutions than traditional lenders."
KKR's Asia Credit platform seeks to provide bespoke private credit solutions to companies and sponsors which harness the strength of KKR's alternative investment capabilities and its expertise as one of the largest alternative credit managers globally. The Asia Credit team leverages KKR's local and global resources to source, diligence, and execute investment opportunities to provide customized financing, ensure capital protections, and support value creation in the process. ACOF intends to pursue investments primarily in performing privately originated credit, and broadly target opportunities across three primary investing themes, including senior and unitranche corporate lending, subordinated corporate lending, and asset-based finance investments.
Brian Dillard, Head of Asia Credit at KKR, said, "Bank capital represents approximately 80 cents of every dollar of credit capital in Asia, which is a far larger percentage than what we are seeing in North America and Europe. There is an imbalance of available financing for Asian businesses at a time when the region's growth and prosperity have fueled an enormous demand for more flexible funding solutions by borrowers looking to seize the opportunities. With limited non-bank supply, we believe this market presents compelling opportunities for alternative credit providers like KKR. With ACOF, we are excited to play a larger role in meeting this unmatched demand and assisting leading businesses and sponsors across the region to meet their long-term growth ambitions."
At the time of close, the Fund is the largest inaugural pan-regional fund focused on performing credit and one of the largest inaugural pan-regional credit funds to have been raised for Asia Pacific. ACOF received strong support from a diverse group of new and existing investors, including public and corporate pensions, sovereign wealth funds, commercial banks, insurance companies, asset managers and private investment groups, and family offices. KKR invested over US$100 million alongside external investors through its balance sheet and employee commitments.
In Asia Pacific, KKR has closed 14 credit investments since 2019, accounting for approximately US$2.4 billion invested by KKR and total transaction value of US$4.7 billion. This has included providing acquisition financing and bespoke capital solutions for companies and financial sponsors in the environmental services, real estate, education, infrastructure, and healthcare sectors. KKR Credit has been active in markets including Australia, Greater China, India, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Vietnam.
KKR established its credit platform in 2004, and made its first private credit investment in 2005. Over the past 17 years, KKR has built one of the largest private credit platforms globally with the ability to invest across the capital structure and liquidity spectrum. These capabilities are paired with KKR's approach to proprietary sourcing, capital preservation and active portfolio management to seek out long-term capital appreciation and attractive risk-adjusted returns. Today, KKR manages approximately US$184 billion of credit assets globally, including approximately US$102 billion in leveraged credit, approximately US$71 billion in private credit, and approximately US$10 billion in strategic investments, as of March 31, 2022. KKR has a team of approximately 170 credit investment professionals across nine cities in seven countries, including approximately 90 private credit investment professionals globally.
KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management as well as capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR's insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life, and reinsurance products under the management of Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR's investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR's website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.