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KKR, Soros Investing in European Web Sites

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Some of the world’s biggest investors, including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., the largest U.S. buyout fund, and billionaire George Soros, announced plans to pump money into European Internet investments, hoping to replicate the success of venture capitalists in the U.S. KKR will be the largest financial investor in a new company formed with Arkwright Capital Partners. The firm, European Digital Partners, will target Internet investments. Separately, Soros emerged as one of the main investors in Stockholm-based Internet investor Speed Ventures, which raised $70 million from Chase Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and others. Investors are hoping to benefit from growing use of the Internet in Europe, which will have 136 million users by the end of 2002, up from 41 million users a year ago.

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