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KKR to Sell Half Its Stake in Gillette

BRIEFLY: CONSUMER PRODUCTS

April 03, 1999| Reuters

Gillette Co. said its second-largest shareholder, investment banking firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., plans to halve its stake in the consumer products conglomerate through the sale of more than 25 million shares worth more than $1.5 billion. KKR, the privately held leveraged buyout specialists, told Gillette the sale of the shares is purely a liquidity move and does not reflect a change in its view toward Gillette's stock, Gillette spokeswoman Joan Gallagher said. A KKR spokesman declined to comment. KKR is looking to sell 25.65 million shares of the 51.3 million shares of Boston-based Gillette it now owns, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing made by Gillette. The move would reduce KKR's beneficial ownership in the maker of Track II razors, Right Guard deodorant, Duracell batteries and other consumer goods to 2.32% from 4.64%. Based on Thursday's New York Stock Exchange closing price for Gillette of $59.25, KKR's current stake is valued at about $3.04 billion. Gillette shares this week fell $4.13, or about 6.5%, after hitting a 52-week high of $64.38 on March 26, a decline that has knocked down the value of KKR's stake by about $300 million. KKR acquired its Gillette stake in 1996, when Gillette bought Duracell Inc. for $7.3 billion.

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