Global asset management firm Blackstone (NYSE:BX) today announced that it has partnered with Black Rhino, an African infrastructure development company, to identify, develop, finance, construct and operate large-scale infrastructure projects across Sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on the energy sector, including power generation, transmission, fuel storage and pipelines.
Formed in January 2012 and based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Dakar, Senegal, Black Rhino is led by Founder and CEO Brian Herlihy, who previously founded and served as CEO of Seacom. At Seacom, Herlihy led a $600 million submarine cable development project to connect fiber optic communications networks from Europe and Asia to 23 African countries. During his career, Herlihy has been involved in over $7 billion of project finance infrastructure development in Africa, including chemical refining, power plant, rail, port and road projects.
The Black Rhino team is comprised of developers, construction project managers and development finance experts. The team will leverage Blackstone’s existing expertise in the energy sector, including its significant experience investing in Africa and in other emerging markets.
“Long-term capital investment in energy is critical to Africa’s development,” said Steve Schwarzman, Blackstone’s Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder. “Blackstone is pleased to be partnering with Brian Herlihy, Mimi Alemayehou, and the entire Black Rhino team to develop innovative projects with the power to transform economies across Africa.”“We look forward to partnering with Black Rhino in developing energy infrastructure and power projects in Africa, where the need for investment is enormous,” said Sean Klimczak, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone. “Black Rhino has a world-class team, extensive experience and a strong track record of working together with local stakeholders, which make them an ideal partner as Blackstone looks to invest in Africa for the long term.” “We are extremely excited to team with Blackstone,” said Brian Herlihy, Black Rhino’s Founder and CEO. “Blackstone is uniquely positioned as a leader in the greenfield energy space, having undertaken development and construction of over $25 billion of greenfield projects globally. Moreover, they have done this in demanding environments such as Africa before. With Blackstone as its partner, we are convinced that Black Rhino will be able to undertake truly transformational projects in the power and energy sectors that are necessary for Africa to maintain the significant economic growth it is currently experiencing.”