BlackRock is seeking to raise an initial $1 billion for a private equity and new infrastructure fund focused primarily on the Middle East, in cooperation with some of the region’s largest sovereign wealth funds, according to people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Al Arabiya.net.
The sources said that the Public Investment Fund and Hassana Investment Company held talks to contribute to the fund. Abu Dhabi’s wealth fund, Mubadala Investment Company, and other international investors are also considering backing the new tool, according to Bloomberg.
While the initial closing of the fund could raise around $1 billion, the capital pool could eventually grow to several billion dollars, according to the sources. Which said that the “Black Rock” company is considering settling the fund in the Abu Dhabi Global Market, with the run out of operations from Riyadh.
The sources indicated that discussions are ongoing and no final decisions have been taken regarding the size of the fund or the investment partners.
BlackRock said in November that its alternative investment arm would set the strategy for the new infrastructure fund in the Middle East as it builds a dedicated team in the region. The fund also signed an agreement with the Public Investment Fund to explore infrastructure opportunities in the region, according to Bloomberg.
BlackRock led a consortium that struck a deal last year to buy a $15.5 billion stake in Saudi Aramco’s natural gas pipelines. It also concluded an agreement with the company to explore low-carbon energy projects. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is also a frequent visitor to the region.