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Blackstone to Invest ‘Hundreds of Millions’ in Waterworks

Blackstone Group LP, the biggest manager of such alternative assets as private equity and property, has created a venture to invest in municipal and industrial water projects worldwide.

Global Water Development Partners will be led by Usha Rao-Monari and Lars Thunell, both formerly of the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. unit, and is looking to invest “hundreds of millions” of dollars, said Oriane Schwartzman, a spokeswoman for the asset manager. “We just see a great opportunity -- mainly in Africa, Asia and Latin America.”

Capital expenditures on water developments to address growing demand and scarcity issues will be about $300 billion a year for municipalities from 2014 to 2018 and as much as $150 billion a year for industrial projects, Schwartzman said, citing data from the U.K. publisher Global Water Intelligence.

“A substantial part of this is expected to be funded from private capital,” Schwartzman said today in an interview.

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