Press Release

Kirkland Advises Ariel Alternatives on Inaugural $1.45 Billion “Project Black” Fund with Partners and Co-Investors

Kirkland & Ellis advised Ariel Alternatives, LLC (Ariel Alternatives), on the closing of Project Black, LP (the Fund), the first private equity initiative of Ariel Investments, LLC, and one of the largest private equity fund closings for a first-time manager globally. Project Black will leverage $1.45 billion in commitments from its limited partners and co-investors spanning the consumer retail, energy and infrastructure, financial services, healthcare, sovereign and private wealth and technology sectors. In addition, JPMorgan Chase & Co. intends to co-invest up to $200 million alongside the Fund in future deals.

The Fund seeks to invest in middle-market companies that may not currently be minority-owned, as well as existing Black- or Latino/a-owned businesses, with $100 million to $1 billion in revenue. Under the Fund’s ownership, these companies are expected to be transformed into certified minority business enterprises of scale that can serve as Tier 1 suppliers to the Fortune 500. Ariel Alternatives aims to forge partnerships between its network of the world’s largest corporations and its portfolio companies.

Read the transaction press release

The Kirkland team was comprised of partner Taj Clayton; investments funds partners Nicole Washington and Alexandria Glispie and associates Adam Strayer and Savannah West; tax partner Meredith Levy and associates Nithya Sheshadri and Rachelle Stapley; investment funds regulatory partners Josh Westerholm and Nicholas Hemmingsen and associate Jasmina Resic; litigation partner Nick Niles; and banking regulatory of counsel Julie Kunetka.