KKR & Co. purchase a 24.9 percent strategic interest in London-based Marshall Wace LLP marks the New York private-equity firm’s most significant move yet into hedge funds.
The price wasn’t disclosed, but WSJ cited people familiar with the matter, that the deal is KKR’s largest by far in the hedge fund sector. Talks began in early 2014 and the agreement was signed on Wednesday morning.
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Under the terms of the agreement, KKR will acquire at closing a 24.9 percent interest in Marshall Wace through a combination of cash and common units. In addition, KKR and Marshall Wace have the option to grow KKR’s ownership interest over time to 39.9 percent.
Founded in 1997 Marshall Wace has over $22 billion of assets under management as of August 1, 2015, predominantly in equity long/short strategies.
Marshall Wace has an excellent 17-year track record of innovation and investment success, consistently delivering attractive risk-adjusted returns that have low correlation to the overall markets.
In addition, the firm has a growing marketplace lending business called MW Eaglewood that specializes in direct lending and peer-to-peer investment strategies.