Keil takes back the talking stick today in the story of How Mario Lost his Three-Star Lease (unfolding in real time for your viewing pleasure). He reports that once-silent Del Posto investor and leveraged buyout king Henry Kravis (right) has emerged from the shadows to take the lead on negotiations with Somerset.
Somerset is calling the move 'just more arrogance' from Batali's camp, but may be missing the bigger point. There is no doubt that the restaurant started as a vanity investment for Kravis, who with a net worth of approximately $1.5 billion was likely in it for the resto cred and choice tables. If suddenly Henry Kravis, made famous for engineering the $25 billion buyout of RJR Nabisco in 1989, is taking over the $110k/year lease talks, Del Posto has a problem more serious than even we'd imagined.
· Del Posto Brings out its Barbarian [NYP]
· World's Richest People: Henry Kravis [Forbes]
· More Mario Derailment [~E~]
· Inside Del Posto's Lease Derailing [~E~]
· Molto Mario Del Evicted? [~E~]