Minnesota investment board seeks answers on dangerous toys
St. Paul, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota board that manages billions of dollars in state investments will ask a private equity firm to account for its holdings in companies whose sales of tainted toys have come under scrutiny.
The board - comprised of the governor, attorney general, secretary of state and auditor - directed staff to send a letter to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. to inquire about its toy safety practices and encourage the company to be aggressive about having dangerous toys removed from store shelves.
KKR is part of a group that owns Toys R Us and it also owns the Dollar General discount chain, both of which stocked toys that were ultimately recalled. Minnesota's board has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in KKR for a couple of decades.
The board took the action Wednesday at the request of the Service Employees International Union Local 284. The union represents school employees who participate in the Public Employee Retirement Association, which has assets invested by the board.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty said it's unclear what the state would do with the information it receives or how it will respond if it isn't satisfied with the answer.