KKR's earnings more than double on higher management fees, asset sales

(Reuters) -KKR & Co Inc said on Tuesday its third-quarter distributable earnings more than doubled to $925.1 million, driven by strong growth in management fees and profit from asset sales in its private equity business.

FILE PHOTO: Trading information for KKR & Co is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

KKR and other private equity firms have benefited from a flurry of mergers and acquisitions as the global economy has been recovering from the pandemic. Its peers Blackstone Inc and Carlyle Group Inc reported record earnings last month due to strong asset sales.

KKR said it generated $448 million in quarterly income from asset sales such as divestment of its stake in supplement maker The Bountiful Company to the Swiss food giant Nestle SA in a $5.75 billion deal.

Its shares rose 1.5% to $78.83 per share in late morning trading.

KKR said it invested $24 billion to buy new assets, including a majority stake Indian cosmetics firm Vini Cosmetics for $625 million and to acquire several apartment buildings such as The District at Scottsdale in Arizona.

KKR said it will continue to assess whether to buy a secondaries business or build its own team to make such investments.

“As we’ve talked about in the past, the secondary and co-invest space is adjacent to a lot of what we do,” KKR Co-Chief Executive Scott Nuttall said during an analyst earnings call, his first after being named to the position last month.

“It’s not a have to do, but it is something that we continue to spend time on.”

Several investment firms purchased secondaries businesses in recent months to tap into the growing market for second-hand private equity assets. On Monday, Franklin Templeton agreed to secondaries firm Lexington Partners for $1.75 billion.

STRONG EARNINGS

KKR said its after-tax distributable earnings per share doubled to $1.05, exceeding the average Wall Street analyst forecast of 93 cents, according to Refinitiv.

Under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), KKR said net income rose 7% to $1.1 billion, largely due to revenue from its insurance subsidiary, Global Atlantic.

KKR’s private equity and opportunistic real estate fund portfolios rose 9% and 14%, respectively. Its leveraged credit funds rose 1%. Private equity funds managed by KKR rivals Blackstone and Carlyle appreciated by 9.9% and 4%, respectively.

KKR said its total assets under management reached $459 billion, versus $429 billion in the prior quarter, on strong fundraising. Its unspent capital remained flat at $111 billion.

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