Thursday, July 05, 2007

K.K.R. I.P.O., Hilton Buyout: The Deals Keep Coming

TOP STORY in today's NYT DealBook:

As many on Wall Street were making their pre-holiday getaways Tuesday afternoon, private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts was filing for a $1.25 billion public offering and Blackstone Group was announcing a $26 billion deal to buy Hilton Hotels.
Either development can be seen as a sign of gloom or good fortune for buyout firms. But something else may be happening: The private equity industry may simply be taking advantage of favorable market conditions while it can, before the market, Congress or both force Blackstone, Kohlberg Kravis and their brethren back down to earth.
"It feels like there's a window," Douglas A. Cifu, a partner at the law firm Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, told The New York Times. "It feels like everyone wants to get in and get deals done because there's a lot of concern that the credit markets will tighten.
"Who is considering going public next? A better question is: Who isn't? Carlyle Group, Apollo Management and TPG are all believed to be exploring such a move, according to The Telegraph. Jeremy Warner, writing in a column for The Independent, says that while many will interpret KKR's public offering and the Hilton deal as signs that the private equity boom is peaking, "it doesn't feel like that to me."
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