Leveraged buyout pioneer Kohlberg dies at age 90

WASHINGTON • Mr Jerome Kohlberg Jr, a founder of investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and a pioneer of the leveraged buyout, died on Thursday, aged 90.

His death was confirmed by his former partners at KKR on Saturday. His son, James, said the cause of death was cancer.

Mr Kohlberg began working at investment bank Bear Stearns & Co in 1955, where he mentored younger colleagues Henry Kravis and George Roberts. The three formed their own firm, KKR, in 1976.

It is best known for taking over tobacco and food conglomerate RJR Nabisco, chronicled in the book Barbarians At The Gate: The Fall Of RJR Nabisco.

The deal is credited with heralding an industry of large, often hostile, corporate takeovers.

Mr Kohlberg quit KKR in 1987, a year before that deal was finalised.

"(He) was a man of integrity and moral courage," Mr Roberts said.

Mr Kravis called Mr Kohlberg "a real visionary, having played an important role in developing the private equity model in the 1960s".

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2015, with the headline 'Leveraged buyout pioneer Kohlberg dies at age 90'. Print Edition | Subscribe