Companies

PE firm Ascent Capital to buy a majority stake in Diani hospitals

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Ascent Capital founding partner David Owino. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Private equity firm Ascent Capital is set to acquire a majority stake in Diani-based hospital group Diani Beach Hospitality Limited (DBH).
  • Ascent will be seeking to take up an 80 percent stake in its first major healthcare deal, according to a regulatory filing provided by COMESA Competition Commission.
  • Ascent Capital last year raised $100 million (Sh10.7 billion) from the World Bank and top sovereign funds for acquiring stakes in companies across Eastern Africa.

Private equity firm Ascent Capital is set to acquire a majority stake in Diani-based hospital group Diani Beach Hospitality Limited (DBH).

DBH operates a hospital in Diani Beach, Ukunda on the southern coast of Kenya with three satellite clinics in Kwale Town, Likoni Town, and Ukunda Town. 

The financial details of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

“We cannot disclose the amounts and the deal is not closed as yet,” Ascent Capital founding partner David Owino told the Business Daily via phone.

“We must get approvals first.”

Ascent will be seeking to take up an 80 percent stake in its first major healthcare deal, according to a regulatory filing provided by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Competition Commission where the parties are seeking clearance.

“The parties have submitted that the proposed transaction entails that Ascent DBH will acquire up to 80 percent of the entire issued share capital in DBH,” said the watchdog in a notice dated 25 March 2022.

Ascent Capital last year raised $100 million (Sh10.7 billion) from the World Bank and top sovereign funds for acquiring stakes in companies across Eastern Africa.

The cash was raised from the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the UK government-owned finance agency, the CDC Group, Dutch development financier FMO, and the French development finance institution, Proparco, alongside other high net worth investors.

Ascent said then it will invest between Sh537 million and Sh2.1 billion in firms across growth sectors like financial services, manufacturing, trade, education, and health sectors in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda.

It seeks to acquire majority or significant minority ownership in the targeted companies, suggesting it is aiming to have a say in the firms’ boardrooms.

“We are looking and have seen interesting opportunities. The market is still there for investors chasing a return and funds are available for businesses that are looking for equity partners to work with them,” Mr Owino said last month.

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