Blackstone unveils new energy company focusing on North Africa
Private Equity Funds managed by Blackstone has announced a partnership with an experienced management team, led by Sameh Shenouda, the former Head of Infrastructure Equity Investments at CDC Group, the UK government-owned Development Finance Institution (DFI) , to create Zarou, a company fully owned by Blackstone.
Zarou will develop, finance, construct and operate energy-related projects in the Middle East and North Africa and neighbouring regions.
Zarou’s focus is primarily on thermal and renewable power opportunities and also includes oil & gas midstream and water assets.
Zarou will leverage Blackstone’s expertise as an active owner and investor in the energy sector, in developed and emerging markets, as well as its own management team’s extensive experience in identifying and developing energy-related projects across the globe.
Zarou’s leadership team has a strong industry network and in-depth knowledge of the targeted geographies, with a proven track record across acquisitions, development, construction, and operations.
During his career, Sameh has been involved in over $6 billion of projects in the MENA region, and, in his previous role at CDC, was instrumental in CDC’s majority investment in Globeleq Africa, Africa's largest private power platform.
Prior to that, he was Natural Gas Industries Director at Orascom, where he developed petrochemical plants in North Africa. Meftaur Rahman, former President and CEO of AES Jordan, joins as COO.
Sameh Shenouda, CEO, Zarou, said: “We are thrilled to partner with investors of Blackstone’s calibre and experience. They share our drive and enthusiasm to invest in and build projects across the MENA region. We have the flexibility to participate in projects throughout the development lifecycle, from concept stage through construction to operating stage, and I believe we are well-positioned to be a value-added partner in the region’s energy sector.”
Mustafa M. Siddiqui, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, added: “We are excited to partner with such an exceptional team to help meet the MENA region’s growing demand for power and other critical facilities. They have the outstanding experience, local expertise, and drive required to create a major new energy platform in the region.”