Donors include KKR, Blackstone’s Baratta, Silver Lake’s Roux
Remote parts of the island lack food and water, says Bravo
Orlando Bravo, managing partner of technology-focused private equity firm Thoma Bravo, has raised a total of $25 million to help Puerto Rico recover from the hurricane that devastated the island in September.
Bravo, who initially put up $10 million of his own money to jump-start hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico, has rounded up another $10 million from investors, he said in an interview. Including an additional contribution of his own, the amount raised is about $25 million, he said.
Over $10 million came from private equity investors Bravo knows, including Blackstone Group LP’s Joe Baratta, Silver Lake co-founder Dave Roux, Genstar Capital’s J-P Conte, Hollie Moore Haynes of Luminate Capital and Bain Capital’s Ian Loring.
“Orlando and I have been friends for roughly a decade,” Conte said in a phone interview. “The island is still in survival mode, and Orlando’s primary effort is to get people electricity, food and water so people can get to the next step.”
Attorneys from the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP also contributed, while KKR & Co. made a firm-wide donation.
“They saw the work we were doing and called up to help,” Bravo said in a phone interview Monday. “I’m grateful to them. The need is tremendous.”
Bravo, 47, a Puerto Rico native who co-founded technology investor Thoma Bravo LLC, has organized regular airlifts and shipments of food, water and other supplies. Focused initially on hard-hit areas to the west, Bravo’s relief mission now extends throughout the island.
More than six weeks after Hurricane Maria struck, many Puerto Ricans lack basic necessities, Bravo said. While roads have been cleared and gasoline is being pumped, some areas don’t have enough water or food.
“A lot of charities have tried to donate medicine, batteries, solar panels to us. All that will be useful,” he said. “What has not improved is there are still remote areas in desperate need of food and water. That is our focus.”
Bravo, who’s set up a relief fund through his family foundation called Podemos Puerto Rico, said he eventually plans to fund educational programs for adolescents and young adults.
But that effort is on hold until living conditions stabilize.
“We’re just doing all we can,” he said. “That’s where we’re at.”
Read on Bloomberg here.