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KKR India moves Kumar to Singapore to lead Southeast Asia PE -sources

Trading information for KKR & Co is displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York

By M. Sriram and Yantoultra Ngui

MUMBAI/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - KKR & Co is moving a managing director from India to Singapore to lead the firm's Southeast Asia private equity business, two familiar with the matter sources told Reuters, bolstering its personnel in the region.

Prashant Kumar, who has been with KKR in Mumbai since 2018, will move to Singapore and start his new role in July, one of the sources said.

Kumar will work with Ashish Shastry, a partner who heads Southeast Asia and co-heads the firm's Asia Pacific Private Equity business.

A spokesperson for KKR declined to comment.

Kumar, an alumnus of The Wharton School and the Indian Institute of Technology, has invested in Indian companies including deodorant-maker Vini Cosmetics and drug-maker JB Chemicals.

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Kumar's move comes after KKR has bolstered its Indian leadership in recent years. It hired Gaurav Trehan from fellow buyout firm TPG Inc in 2020 to lead its Indian business.

Last month, KKR also hired Trehan's former colleague Akshay Tanna from TPG to be a partner in its Indian private equity team, said a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

The move also comes as KKR strengthens its presence in India and Southeast Asia. It raised $15 billion for its fourth Asia-Pacific focused private equity fund in 2021, one of the region's largest for the asset class.

KKR has been investing in Southeast Asia since 2005, and opened its Singapore office in 2012. Its investments in the region include private equity, real estate, credit and infrastructure.

In March, KKR-backed telecom tower platform Frontier Tower Associations bought more than a 100 telecom towers in the Philippines from broadband group PLDT for $220 million.

Reuters reported last week that hospital chain Aster DM Healthcare and its advisers had reached out to KKR to hold talks over a stake sale.

(Reporting by M. Sriram in Mumbai and Yantoultra Ngui in Singapore Editing by Kane Wu and Mark Potter)