Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (together with its affiliates, "KKR") today announced that KKR China Growth Fund L.P., a China-focused investment fund managed by KKR, had invested in Novo Holdco Limited (“Novo”), a fast-growing fashion apparel retailer focused on the urban youth demographic in China. Since KKR’s investment, Novo has significantly expanded their nationwide store network and pursued licensing agreements with attractive international fashion brands to help fuel their growth in China. “Novo was one of the first and remains one of the largest established specialized department store chains targeting the underserved urban youth fashion market in China. We are very impressed with KKR’s global franchise and the China team’s strong track record. There is a history of growth when retail companies partner with KKR and we are confident that this partnership will enable us to leverage their retail industry expertise and local knowledge to further grow our business as an industry leader in China,” said Alan Fang, Chairman and CEO of Novo. “We plan to grow aggressively in the coming few years both in our anchor stores and brands development. We look forward to partnering with the KKR team on our growth story,” Chairman Fang added. “We see enormous long-term growth potential in the Chinese fashion retail industry driven by rising domestic consumption and an increasing demand for the latest fashion trends. The Chinese youth apparel retail market is a $38 billion industry and has been growing at 16% per annum since 2005. Novo has developed a unique business model with extensive local network and supplier relationships which enable it to fully capitalize on the rising demand in the Chinese youth fashion market over the long term,” said David Liu, Member of KKR and CEO of KKR Greater China. “Novo has a strong management team with extensive retail expertise and a strong track record of developing retail networks and anticipating the latest fashion trends in China. We look forward to supporting Novo in their growth plans and are committed to fully utilizing KKR's global resources and retail expertise in creating a win-win long-term partnership,” commented Julian Wolhardt, Member of KKR.
KKR has completed 21 transactions in the retail sector around the world since its first retail investment in 1981, including with companies such as Dollar General, and has invested $60 billion in the sector. The firm’s retail portfolio investments have included supermarkets, pharmacies, department stores, food distribution companies and specialty retailers. This investment in Novo is for $30 million.About Novo Holdco Limited Novo, founded in 2004 by Chairman and CEO Alan Fang, is a fast-growing fashion apparel retailer focused on the 18-30 age demographic in China. Novo is a first mover to satisfy unmet demand in the youth fashion apparel market in China and is well positioned to experience higher growth by focusing on the right demographics, regions, and price points. The company mainly operates a specialized department store chain focused on fashion apparel and accessories for China’s urban youth, and currently has 11 operational stores in selected major cities inside shopping malls and department stores. In addition, the company also operates a franchise of retail stores selling international fashion apparel and accessory brands with over 80 stores under the brands of “LeSportsac” etc. For additional information, please visit Novo’s website at http://www.novoconcept.com.cn About KKR Founded in 1976 and led by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, KKR is a leading global investment firm with $61.5 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2012. With offices around the world, including Beijing, KKR manages assets through a variety of investment funds and accounts covering multiple asset classes. KKR seeks to create value by bringing operational expertise to its portfolio companies and through active oversight and monitoring of its investments. KKR complements its investment expertise and strengthens interactions with investors through its client relationships and capital markets platform. KKR is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: KKR). For additional information, please visit KKR's website at www.kkr.com.