Blackstone appoints Emir Sanusi African Chairman

Posted by News Express | 13 June 2015 | 3,512 times

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Private equity giant, Blackstone Group has strengthened its ties to Nigeria by announcing Thursday that its Black Rhino unit had appointed Lamido Sanusi as Chairman of its Board of Directors.

Sanusi is the emir of Kano, Nigeria’s northern state, a traditional leader who still wields considerable influence. He is also the former governor of the country’s central bank.

The appointment comes after $310 billion Blackstone announced in August 2014 that it had partnered with Dangote Industries – led by Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote – to invest jointly up to $5 billion over the next five years in energy infrastructure projects across Sub-Saharan Africa, part of President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative to match private capital with continental energy needs.

No projects for the joint venture have been announced, but Blackstone is considering an investment alongside Dangote to construct pipelines to bring gas from the country’s energy-rich southern delta region to its business center, Lagos, according to a person familiar with the situation and comments previously made by Dangote. Dangote said he plans to invest up to $2.5 billion in the pipes, which would potentially quadruple the supply of gas to the country.

A spokesman for Blackstone declined to comment on the pipelines.

“Emir Sanusi has a comprehensive mastery of the interdependence of Africa with the global economy,” Mimi Alemayehou, chairman of Blackstone African Infrastructure and Managing Director at Black Rhino, said in a statement.

“He has the courage and integrity necessary to give us the full, candid and impartial counsel that a long-term investor in Africa needs. We are gratified and, indeed, privileged to have a partner of such immense stature alongside us as we chart our course,” he said.

Black Rhino’s only announced project so far is a $1.4 billion oil pipeline from sea ports in Djibouti to Ethiopia, a landlocked country that now relies on trucks to bring in fuel.

•Adapted from a CNBC report. Photo shows Sanusi.

Source: News Express

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