Kohlberg & Company is a private equity firm that focuses on leveraged buyout transactions founded by industry pioneer Jerome Kohlberg, Jr.
Today, the firm invests in a variety of transactions including leveraged carveouts (buyouts of divisions from larger companies), take private transactions and acquisitions of privately held companies. The firm, focuses on companies facing operational or financial challenges, particularly middle-market companies. As of the end of 2007, Kohlberg & Company had raised six private equity funds since its inception, with approximately $3.7 billion of investor commitments. Kohlberg's previous funds totalled $306 million (1988), $165 million (1994), $320 million (1997), $576 million (2000) and $800 million (2004), respectively.
Additionally, Kohlberg also operates a series of debt investment funds under the banner of Katonah Debt Advisors, which it founded in 2000 as Katonah Capital. As of the end of 2007, Katonah Capital, and its successor, Katonah Debt Advisors had raised approximately $3.5 billion through 9 collateralized debt obligation funds. In 2006, the firm completed an initial public offering for Kohlberg Capital Corporation (NASDAQ: KCAP) to provide senior debt and mezzanine financing.
Kohlberg has approximately 25 investment professionals based in Mt. Kisco, New York, New York City, and Palo Alto, California.
The firm was founded in 1987, when Jerome Kohlberg, Jr. resigned from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. over differences in strategy. Kohlberg did not favor the larger buyouts (including Beatrice Companies (1985) and Safeway (1986) ), highly leveraged transactions or hostile takeovers being pursued increasingly by KKR., typified by their 1989 takeover of RJR Nabisco. Instead, Kohlberg chose to return to his roots, acquiring smaller, middle-market companies, and in 1987 he formed a new private equity firm Kohlberg & Company along with his son James, at that time a KKR executive. Their intent was to concentrate on transactions that could generate returns through revenue growth and operating improvements using only moderate leverage.
Jerome Kohlberg retired from Kohlberg & Company in 1994.
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