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Published: Tuesday, 10/19/2004

O-I ties with KKR remain unchanged

One year after Toledo's Owens-Illinois Inc. gave indications that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. was about to end or reduce its long involvement with the company, there has been little change in the relationship between the two firms.

The New York investment partnership continues to own 36 million shares, giving it a one-fourth stake in the manufacturer of bottles for beer, wine, and prescriptions, according to KKR's most recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It is unclear why KKR didn't proceed with an optional plan outlined in a prospectus filed by O-I last October to begin selling shares. A spokesman for the investment partnership declined comment.

KKR bought O-I in 1987 in a leveraged buyout, and later spun off portions of the firm as separate companies, including Libbey Inc. and the corporation that became Manor Care Inc.

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