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Blackstone (NYSE:BX) and Dangote Industries today announced a commitment by Black Rhino, a portfolio company of Blackstone Energy Partners and affiliated funds managed by Blackstone, and Dangote Industries to jointly invest up to $5 billion over the next five years in energy infrastructure projects across Sub-Saharan Africa with a particular emphasis on power, transmission and pipeline projects.
Dangote Industries is the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa, and one of the largest in Africa. Dangote Industries’ commitment to investments in Nigeria and across the African continent has played a significant role in Africa’s recent economic success. Led by its Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer Aliko Dangote, Dangote Industries’ businesses span manufacturing, logistics, commodities trading and real estate across fourteen African countries.
Black Rhino was formed in January 2012 and is led by Seacom founder Brian Herlihy to develop and invest in transformational projects in the power generation and fuel transportation sectors. In July, Blackstone announced that it is backing Black Rhino’s experienced management team as it identifies, develops, and operates large-scale infrastructure investments across Sub-Saharan Africa. As part of the transaction, Black Rhino recently announced the appointment of Mimi Alemayehou, formerly the Executive Vice President of the United States’ Overseas Private Investment Corporation, who will join as Managing Director and member of the Executive Committee. In addition, Alemayehou will serve as an Executive Advisor and Chair of Blackstone Africa Infrastructure.
The 50/50 partnership was announced by Aliko Dangote during his remarks today at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, hosted by the Obama Administration in Washington, D.C. The summit is the largest event that any U.S. President has held with African Heads of State. Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone’s Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum also attended and spoke at the summit.
In their remarks, both Mr. Dangote and Mr. Schwarzman spoke to the critical need to develop Africa’s energy infrastructure. Africa has both the lowest urban and rural electrification rates of any continent, and Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 589 million people who do not have access to electricity, approximately 70% of the total population.