KKR bolsters India team

The global buyout firm has moved Nathaniel Taylor from its Menlo Park office to Mumbai, where it established an office in January.

Nathaniel Taylor, who joined Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 2005 and was based at Menlo Park, relocated to the global buyout firm’s Mumbai office to bolster its presence in India in April.

Taylor, a director at KKR, reports to Sanjay Nayar, the chief executive officer of KKR India, a firm spokesman said. Nayar, who spent 23 years with Citigroup, most recently as the chief executive of its India and South Asia operations, was hired by KKR in November 2008.

Taylor is a member of KKR’s technology industry team. He has been involved with investments in Aricent, SunGard Data Systems, and Sun Microsystems. He currently sits on the board of directors of Aricent. Prior to 2005, Taylor worked at Bain Capital where he was involved in investments in the retail, healthcare and technology sectors.

Nayar's remit is to build a broad investment platform for the firm across a wide range of asset classes such as private equity, real estate, infrastructure and fixed income, KKR said at the time of his appointment.

KKR has only made two investments in India thus far. The first of its deals was the $900 million investment it made in 2006 to acquire a controlling stake in Aricent, then known as Flextronics Software Systems. The deal made headlines at the time for being the largest leveraged buyout and technology investment in India to date.

In 2008, KKR invested $250 million for a minority stake in Bharti Infratel, a telecom tower company and subsidiary of Indian telecommunication company, Bharti Airtel. That investment was part of a $1.25 billion private placement that included other private equity players like AIF Capital, India Equity Partners, Temasek Holdings, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Macquarie Bank.

The KKR spokesman declined to mention how many investment professionals KKR has on the ground in the country, saying that the firm is in the process of building its team in India.

In recent months, Indian media reports have stated that KKR is in the running to acquire a minority stake of about 15 percent in Bangalore-based United Spirits, one of the world’s largest liquor makers.

Although large buyouts in the country have been rare, there are private equity firms making only control deals in India. Firms employing a buyout strategy are making what is now commonly referred to as 'growth buyouts', whereby smaller companies are acquired with little or no use of leverage. Some large global firms with buyout strategies have also been acquiring minority stakes in Indian businesses.