Marc Lipschultz, KKR’s head of energy and infrastructure, is starting a new private debt firm called Owl Rock Capital alongside Doug Ostrover, a founder of private lender GSO Capital Partners.
The firm will invest in loans across the credit spectrum and be based in New York. The news was first reported by Bloomberg on Tuesday and confirmed by multiple sources.
Ostrover, one of three founders at Blackstone-owned GSO, left the firm last May, while Lipschultz is departing from KKR this month. They couldn’t be reached for comment by press time.
Although Lipschultz’s specialty is in energy and infrastructure, the new firm will invest in a variety of debt. The duo will first set up a private fund. Sources told sister publication PDI the vehicle is targeting at least $2 billion. The firm is also setting up a business development company (BDC), the Owk Rock Capital Corporation, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings in October. Alan Kirschenbaum, formerly the chief financial officer at TPG Specialty Lending (TSLX), is listed as chief operating officer on the filings. TSLX is the $1.3 billion BDC at TPG.
Lipschultz has worked at KKR since 1995 in a variety of senior roles. He founded the firm’s energy real assets and infrastructure businesses. He’s being replaced on the energy front by Robert Antablin, who will become head of the Americas energy private equity team, and David Rockecharlie, who will become head of energy real assets, according to a KKR memo obtained by PDI. Both are based in Houston and are long-time KKR executives.
Raj Agrawal and Jesus Olmos in Menlo Park and London, respectively, will become global co-heads of infrastructure at KKR, with Agrawal replacing Lipschultz as chairman of the infrastructure investment committee. Agrawal and Olmos have led the OECD-focused infrastructure businesses for the past several years.
Nat Zilkha, KKR’s co-head of credit, told PDI in a Q&A last year that the energy opportunity within debt seemed less attractive to him than previously thought, as it’s hard to predict the energy market cycle and make bets on when oil prices will rebound.