Pete is the Co-Head of Americas Private Equity at KKR, the legendary firm founded in 1976 that today is a public company managing around $500 billion in assets. Pete previously led KKR’s Industrials team, where he pioneered an employee engagement and ownership model.
C.H.I. Overhead Doors manufactures garage doors and is a recent KKR portfolio company exit. Despite being the fourth private equity owner of C.H.I., KKR transformed the company through a series of operational improvements and perhaps most importantly, an employee-ownership model. In fact, the firm’s seven-year holding ended up generating the highest return of a KKR deal in thirty years. Upon the sale, employees received $360 million in proceeds with a substantial majority going to those below the C-suite level.
Our conversation starts with the deal dynamic at KKR’s purchase in 2015, including sourcing, pre-empting the process, and pricing strategy. We turn to KKR’s gameplan to improve operations and employee engagement, and details of the exit. We close with a discussion of the employee ownership structure at C.H.I. and Ownership Works, a nonprofit consortium of business stakeholders initiated by Pete that is on a mission to increase prosperity through shared ownership at work.