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KKR's Kravis: 'really tough' to buy controlling stakes in emerging markets

Henry Kravis, co-founder of private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., attends a media briefing in Hong Kong September 16, 2013. REU
Henry Kravis, co-founder of private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., attends a media briefing in Hong Kong September 16, 2013. REU

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Global private equity firm KKR & Co LP co-founder Henry Kravis on Thursday said buying controlling stakes in companies is "really tough" in emerging markets, and is particularly hard in India because of the prevalent family-owned business structure.

Private equity firms are increasingly seeking majority-control buyouts in India because economic growth - at its slowest in a decade - and a weak rupee - which fell 11 percent last year - are bringing down corporate profits and so making companies cheaper.

Indian companies, mostly family-owned, have long been averse to selling out, preferring to raise funds by borrowing from banks or going public. But a dormant capital market and high interest rates are pushing them to cut deals with PE firms instead.

(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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