KKR’s other comps

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The WSJ’s article about Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’s latest plan to go public points out that with a market value between $12 billion and $15 billion, the buyout shop would be worth more that Lehman Brothers and half the size of Merrill Lynch.

A few other numbers from KKR’s morning presentation caught my eye. With its portfolio of 46 companies, KKR sits atop $205 billion in revenue and 855,000 employees. Now, KKR doesn’t own all those companies all by itself—its 2006 deal for the hospital chain HCA, for instance, included Bain Capital and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity. Still, I think it’s safe to assume that KKR is pretty involved in the operations of its portfolio companies.

So I went to Fortune’s list of biggest employers to see how KKR stacks up in terms of influence over worker-lives. Not too shabbily, as it turns out:

Rank—Company—2007 Number of employees

1—Wal-Mart Stores—2,055,000
2—State Grid—1,486,000
3—China National Petroleum—1,117,345
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts—855,000
4—U.S. Postal Service—785,929
6—Hon Hai Precision Industry—550,000
8—Deutsche Post—475,100
9—Agricultural Bank of China—447,519

I also checked out revenues (as a measure of weightiness only—all of this money, as I mentioned, doesn’t flow straight to KKR investors):

Rank—Company—Revenues ($ millions)

1—Wal-Mart Stores—378,799
2—Exxon Mobil—372,824
3—Royal Dutch Shell—355,782
5—Toyota Motor—230,201
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts—205,000
7—ING Group—201,516
9—General Motors—182,347

Even without the IPO, I’m impressed.

UPDATE: TheDeal.com took offense to this post. I have tried to explain to them why they’re wrong to feel that way in this new post.