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KKR Caps Withdrawals on Real Estate Trust in Latest Pullback

(Bloomberg)—KKR & Co. joined rivals including Blackstone Inc. in limiting withdrawals from a real estate investment trust after investors sought to pull out more money.

KKR Real Estate Select Trust received requests in the first-quarter tender offer period to repurchase 8.1% of its net asset value, exceeding the 5% quarterly limit, according to a filing Wednesday. The trust fulfilled 62% of each shareholder’s request. KKR’s stock dropped 5.7% to $49.98 at 12:12 p.m. in New York Thursday.

Real estate investment vehicles overseen by KKR and Blackstone have come under pressure in recent months as investors requested their money back beyond limits set by the funds. Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust and Starwood Real Estate Income Trust have said they would limit redemptions, moves that spurred queries by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Within KREST, we are balancing providing access to private real estate, which is an illiquid asset class, with the recognition and understanding that the optionality for a level of regular liquidity is an important feature for KREST shareholders,” Billy Butcher, chief executive officer of KKR Real Estate Select Trust, said in the filing. “We believe that KREST has a strong liquidity position.”

KKR is among private equity firms that expanded their offerings to retail investors in a bid for growth as institutional investors run up against the limit of what they can allocate to alternative assets. Last year, New York-based KKR filed for regulatory approval to launch an infrastructure strategy for high-net-worth clients.

But the recent struggles of these real estate trusts has underscored the challenges of courting a wider audience for fairly illiquid investments. Blackstone recently turned to a traditional institutional investor for its real estate trust, getting a $4 billion injection from the University of California.

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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