KKR buys into First Gen
US private equity giant sees opportunity in Philippine power sector after forays into healthcare, tech
1 Jul 2020 | Michael Marray

Global investment firm KKR has acquired an 11.9% stake in First Gen Corporation, one of the Philippines’ largest independent power producers.

The shares were acquired – via a tender offer process by Valorous Asia Holdings, an entity owned by KKR investment funds – for a total of 9.6 billion Philippine pesos (US$192.2 million). First Gen, listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange, is a subsidiary of First Philippine Holdings.

First Philippine Holdings, controlled by the Lopez family, is one of the country's biggest conglomerates. The company primarily generates power through renewable energy and indigenous fuel sources, such as natural gas, geothermal energy from steam, hydro-electric, wind, and solar power. First Gen has 3,492 megawatts of installed capacity in its portfolio, which accounted for 21% of the country's gross power generation in 2019.

"This is an exciting and further milestone for KKR’s Asia-Pacific infrastructure business, and we are pleased to have this opportunity to be an investor in First Gen,” says David Luboff, partner and head of Asia-Pacific infrastructure at KKR.

KKR’s investment in First Gen is its third in the Philippines, following its purchase of stakes in Metro Pacific Hospitals, the country’s largest private hospital operator and healthcare network, and in Voyager Innovations, a leading technology company.

KKR has now invested more than US$1 billion in the Philippines, and is looking for new opportunities via its infrastructure, private equity, real estate and credit investing businesses.