Kelso & Company
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
|Products||Private equity funds, Leveraged buyouts, Recapitalizations, Growth capital|
|Total assets||$38+ billion|
Kelso & Company is a private equity investment firm focusing on leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and growth capital transactions. Kelso invests in a variety of sectors, including communication, manufacturing and restaurants.
Kelso is based in New York City and was founded in 1971. Since 1980, the firm has raised approximately $10.1 billion of investor commitments to its private equity funds and was among the 50 largest private equity firms globally. Since its inception, the firm has made investments in over 90 companies representing more than $31 billion of aggregate purchase price.
Kelso also provides mezzanine capital through a joint venture with BlackRock, an asset management firm. Their joint venture, BlackRock Kelso Capital Corp. (NASDAQ: BKCC), is organized as a type of publicly traded private equity company known as a Business Development Company.
Originally founded in 1971 as Kelso Bangert & Company, the firm acted as both an advisor and merchant bank, both making investments and advising in mergers and acquisitions. Kelso was founded by Louis O. Kelso, a lawyer and economist who is given credit for developing the concept for employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), in 1956. Kelso, alongside a sister company Louis O. Kelso Inc., focused initially on M&A activity involving Employee Stock Ownership Plans.
Kelso raised its first private equity fund and has had a dedicated private equity investment platform since 1980. Louis O. Kelso who died in 1991 transitioned management of the firm to Joseph Schuchert to focus on writing and lecturing. Today the firm is headed by Frank T. Nickell who joined the firm in 1977.
- "Louis O. Kelso, Who Advocated Worker-Capitalism, Is Dead at 77." New York Times, February 21, 1991.
- "Standard Endorses Kelso Bid." New York Times, March 18, 1988.