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Henry Kravis continues his health drive – paying out $1.67 billion to acquire Panasonic’s health care unit

KKR has added the healthcare division of the Osaka based electronics giant to their fast growing portfolio of companies involved in the health industry.  

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Henry_Kravis wikipedia

Henry Kravis

With the company’s largest acquisition in Japan to date, the private-equity firm that Henry Kravis founded in partnership with Jerome Kohlberg, Jr. and George Roberts, KKR announced that they have acquired, through a wholly owned subsidiary, the assets and share capital of the Panasonic Healthcare Company.

Under the terms of the purchase agreement, KKR will immediately re-allocate twenty percent of the shares of the wholly owned unit back to Panasonic’s holding company. Panasonic Healthcare, manufacture and distribute digital medical-record systems as well as digital instruments used in measuring blood glucose levels.

The acquisition of the Panasonic Healthcare Company comes just a few months after KKL added global contract research organization PRA International that provide outsourced clinical development services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

New York based KKR  has been increasing their presence in Asia over the last few years, with the  Tokyo office in  operation  since 2006, with the Panasonic deal making for Kravis and partner’s  largest investment in a Japanese firm to date.


Henry Kravis was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Kravis studied economics at Claremont McKenna College in California, graduating in 1967 before going on to take his masters degree at the Columbia Business School in 1969.

After graduating Kravis headed to New York City, and a career in the financial sector, eventually the staff of Wall Street brokers, Bear Stearns where his cousin George R. Roberts was already employed. Both the cousins climbed rapidly up the ladder at Bear Stearns, under the guardianship of the company’s legendary corporate finance manager, Jerome Kohlberg, Jr., both becoming partners while still in their very early thirties.

In 1976, so strong were the relationships between the trios, that they left Bear Stearns to form their own investment company, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts which was rapidly abbreviated to become KKR.

KKR has invested over the year’s covers a very broad range of industry sectors, including health care provider Hospital Corporation of America.

As part of his considerable philanthropic effort, in 2006 Kravis established the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership, intended to identify outstanding leaders involved in the public sector. The winner of the annual Henry R. Kravis Prize is allowed to select which nonprofit organization will be recipients of the $250, 000 prize.

The Kravis Prize is affiliated with the Kravis Leadership Institute, a research institute, based at Claremont McKenna College.

Additionally, Kravis funds the Henry Kravis Leadership Institute that sponsors the Leadership Studies programs at Claremont McKenna College, as well the “Henry Kravis Internships for Teachers of Color” program. The Deerfield Academy, the Eaglebrook School, the Loomis Chaffee School   and the Middlesex School have also enjoyed the benefits of Kravis’s philanthropy.

Henry Kravis has an estimated net worth of around $4 billion.


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