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Merchants Of Debt: Kkr And The Mortgaging Of American Business
     

Merchants Of Debt: Kkr And The Mortgaging Of American Business

by George Anders
 

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First published in 1992 (by Basic Books), this reprint is timely now in the wake of Enron and WorldCom. Anders tells the story of how Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) took advantage of Wall Street's tolerance of debt to finagle massive corporate takeovers of companies that included Safeway, Drexel, and Nabisco. Anders was a journalist and editor at The Wall Street

Overview

First published in 1992 (by Basic Books), this reprint is timely now in the wake of Enron and WorldCom. Anders tells the story of how Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) took advantage of Wall Street's tolerance of debt to finagle massive corporate takeovers of companies that included Safeway, Drexel, and Nabisco. Anders was a journalist and editor at The Wall Street Journal and is now with Fast Company magazine. Annotation c. Book News, Inc.,Portland, OR

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This inside look from a Wall Street Journal reporter at massive leveraged-buyout operations of the Manhattan-based Kohlberg Kravis Roberts financial partnership during the 1980s is beautifully organized and written in immediate and lively prose. Anders explains how KKR, with incredible audacity, borrowed billions in cash from investment bankers, pension plans, college endowments and even their takeover targets' willing management to buy and saddle with heavy deductible debut such giant corporations as Safeway, Beatrice, Duracell and RJR Nabisco. After quick and ruthless efficiency measures were imposed on the corporations to enhance earnings and pay off the debt, assets were then resold, yielding millions of dollars in fees and profits. The game collapsed with the 1990 onset of recession, and the author here reveals how KKR leadership survived while other financiers went under or to jail. First serial to Wall Street Journal. (June)
Library Journal
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) was founded in New York in 1976 by three enterprising investment bankers, Jerry Kohlberg, George Kravis, and George Roberts, with the simple purpose of assisting companies to participate in management-led buyouts or leveraged buyouts (LBOs). While its origins were humble, KKR's lifespan to date has not been, having spent almost $60 billion in 38 buyouts of companies, which resulted in a reshaping of corporate America. Wall Street Journal reporter Anders chronicles the rise of KKR during the 1980s, the ``age of debt,'' and shows how a simple formula using borrowed money could be successfully repeated over and over again in corporate takeovers, bringing untold wealth and power to the men of KKR and to their investors. The pinnacle of success for KKR was the RJR Nabisco buyout in 1989 costing $26.4 billion (this is covered at length in Bryan Burrough and John Helyar's Barbarians at the Gate , LJ 1/90). Unfortunately, the free-spending 1980s gave way to the recessionary 1990s, and KKR's fortunes similarly declined, with its partnership unraveling. This compelling book is recommended for all business collections.-- Richard Drezen, Merrill Lynch Lib., New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465045228
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
05/01/1992
Pages:
352

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