GIP appoints oil and gas specialist

Joseph Blum, a senior project finance lawyer with substantial experience of advising oil and gas companies, has joined Global Infrastructure Partners as private equity’s interest in the sector shows no sign of drying up.

Infrastructure specialist Global Infrastructure Partners has appointed Joseph Blum as a partner and general counsel, at the company’s London office.

Blum previously spent 21 years working for law firm Latham & Watkins, where he was a partner and head of the London office’s Project Development and Finance Group.

According to a statement from Global Infrastructure Partners, Blum has worked on significant transactions in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the former Soviet Union and the Indian sub-continent.  His clients have included oil and gas companies ExxonMobil, Qatar Petroleum and Chevron as well as banks such as Lehman Brothers, ABN AMRO and Morgan Stanley.

Adebayo Ogunlesi, chairman and managing partner of Global Infrastructure Partners, said GIP was considering numerous opportunities in the infrastructure investment sector, across various asset classes including energy, transport and water, both in the OECD and in select developing countries.  “Blum’s vast experience in both developed and developing markets and the recognition he has gained across various infrastructure sectors distinguish him as a legal expert,” he said.

The oil and gas sector, for a long time a private equity backwater, has been highly popular with buyout firms lately. US buyout firm Colony Capital bought Libyan oil and gas company Tamoil for €4 billion ($5.4 billion) earlier this month – it was the largest acquisition of an African-owned company to date, and indicates buyout firms’ willingness to enter unconventional geographies to make acquisitions in the sector. 

GIP, which has Credit Suisse and General Electric as its two founding investors, has offices in New York, London and Hong Kong.