KKR posts its first loss in five years

KKR & Co., which gained famed in the 1980s from its then-record buyout of RJR Nabisco, today reported its first loss in about five years.

As Bloomberg News noted, the New York-based firm posted a $1.2 billion loss for 2008, compared with pretax economic net income of $815 million the previous year. KKR's assets under management plunged 11 percent to $47.3 billion at the end of March, Bloomberg said. The closely held company, which last year announced plans to go public, has seen its access to credit dry up as banks tightened standards. Many private equity deals also are buckling under the weight of excessive leverage.