Private equity titan Blackstone is backing a new company that will develop energy-related projects across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Zarou will focus primarily on thermal and renewable power opportunities as well as oil & gas midstream and water assets.
The company, which will be fully owned by Blackstone, will leverage the firm’s expertise as an 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, according to a statement.
The team is led by Sameh Shenouda, the former Head of Infrastructure Equity Investments at CDC Group, the UK government-owned Development Finance Institution (DFI).
Sameh has been involved in over $6bn of projects in the MENA region, and, in his previous role 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.”