KKR is about to take a big tech company public

Henry Kravis, co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., smiles during a media briefing in Hong Kong September 16, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby YipThomson ReutersHenry Kravis, co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., smiles during a media briefing in Hong Kong

Private equity firm KKR’s big bet on tech is finally going to pay off.

Privately-held transaction processing company First Data filed paperwork for its return to public markets on July 20, after nearly eight years of being run by a private equity firm.

First Data was bought by KKR in 2007 in what was at the time one of the biggest leveraged buyouts on Wall Street. The $US26 billion deal ranks among the largest LBOs ever and at the time it was announced, was the second biggest in Wall Street history.

Over the years First Data has faced some struggles as many of the biggest LBOs of the pre-crisis era did facing billions in debt. KKR had to refinance its debt for the First Data deal, but still avoided seeing another of its big investments go bust during the financial crisis.

First Data’s IPO filing does not make a mention of any of the banks that will lead the offering. Right now, it intends to sell about $US100 million worth of stock — although that amount could change.

According to the offering paperwork, First Data processed 74 billion transactions totaling more than $US1.9 trillion globally in 2014.

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