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India medical firm lists Kenya in Sh1bn Africa expansion plan

Health staff at the Kenyatta National Hospital. file PHOTO | NMG
Health staff at the Kenyatta National Hospital. file PHOTO | NMG 

An Indian medical equipment firm plans to expand into Kenya and three other African countries in a Sh1 billion project that is partly financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The IFC, World Bank’s private lending arm, has disclosed plans to lend Trivitron Healthcare Sh281 million ($2.75 million) to set up distribution hubs for medical devices and instruments in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Algeria.

Trivitron and Dutch-based private equity fund Investment Fund for Health in Africa (IFHA II) will inject a further Sh740 million ($7.25 million) into the project.

“Trivitron will provide high-quality medical devices and instruments with reliable after-sales service support across Africa, thereby improving access and affordability of medical equipment across the continent,” IFC says in disclosures.

Trivitron Healthcare, which is based in the city of Chennai in eastern India, has an extensive global reach with more than 50,000 distribution sites located in about 165 countries.

The company has a total of nine manufacturing sites in India, Turkey and Finland from which medical equipment destined for the new markets in Africa will be sourced.

It produces various equipment including for mammography, renal care, intensive care as well as ultrasounds, radiation protectors and several other critical medical instruments.

“Trivitron plans to rent office space and does not plan to manufacture any equipment. The company intends to import equipment from recognised and established suppliers,” the IFC says.

Trivitron’s foray in Kenya is part of IFHA II’s Sh11 billion investment in the “acquisition and integration of targeted healthcare services businesses in East and southern Africa.”

The PE fund, which counts the IFC, Pfizer, African Development Bank and European Investment Bank as its backers, has investments in healthcare provider AAR Group as well as CarePay Limited, the originators of the M-Tiba platform.

The IFHA first invested in Kenya in 2010 when it spent Sh750 million to purchase a 20 per cent stake in healthcare provider AAR Group, even as its management said it intended to grow its stake to over 60 per cent in the short-term.

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