PE firm Leapfrog eyes Kenya deals with IFC Sh2.6bn

Investors during a Leapfrog briefing. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG
Investors during a Leapfrog briefing. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG 

Private equity firm Leapfrog Investments is set to receive up to $25 million (Sh2.6 billion) from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to fund investments in the healthcare and financial services firms including in Kenya.

Leapfrog, whose Kenyan investments include Goodlife Pharmacy and Resolution Insurance, is raising new capital to invest in more African and Asian businesses.

IFC, the World Bank’s private lending arm, has now committed to inject at most Sh2.6 billion into the fund which lists Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka as its priority countries.

Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda are also set to benefit.

“The fund will invest in companies that focus on the lower-income emerging consumer and also enhance regional integration by supporting companies expand across borders,” IFC says in its disclosures.

Leapfrog will make equity and quasi-equity investments, with one third of the fund focused on the healthcare segment and two-thirds on financial services investments.

Last November, LeapFrog paid Sh2.2 billion to buy out the entire stake held by fellow fund Catalyst Principal Partners in Goodlife Pharmacy.

The pharmacy chain, which offers health, personal care and beauty care products, has 19 stores in Kenya and Uganda and LeapFrog says plans to expand this footprint.

The PE Fund also owns a majority stake in Resolution having made its first equity injection of Sh1.6 billion in 2014 followed by Sh1.1 billion last year. It 2014, LeapFrog exited Apollo Investments, selling its minority stake to SwissRe Direct.

Last December LeapFrog London’s partner Karima Olokun-Ola was in the country to hold talks with several Kenyan underwriters struggling to raise funds to meet new regulations that peg capital to the risk taken.