Avenue, Metropolitan, Nairobi Women’s Hospitals managing fund to stretch market share in Kenya

KENYA – US private equity group, TPG-backed, Evercare health care fund, which took over the management of over 5 Kenyan hospitals and clinics previously managed by scandal-hit Dubai-based fund Abraaj, plans to expand its presence in its five key markets including Kenya.

The firm’s chief executive Massimiliano Colella said it would add more clinics and diagnostic centres citing huge demand for the health care services.

He did not divulge the number of new clinics to be added in Kenya and the specific timelines for the expansion.

The aim is to boost coverage to six million patients by 2025, from four million in Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, Mr Colella said in an interview.

The expansion plans offer relief to the near half dozen hospitals run by the US healthcare fund in Kenya and their workers and marks a sudden change of fortune two years after the Kenyan hospitals stared an uncertain future following the collapse of Abraaj.

Abraaj’s health fund Kenyan portfolio was made up of 18 clinics and 10 hospitals that provide over 700 patient beds.

The fund had invested in Nairobi Women’s Hospital, Avenue Hospital, Metropolitan Hospital, and Ladnan Hospital among others all of which are now under ownership and management of Evercare.

Evercare expansion plans mirror several other private Kenyan firms which are expanding health care services in the country in a race to plug gaps in the relatively poor public health infrastructure that is plagued by an acute shortage of doctors, a lack of essential drugs and medical equipment.

TPG Growth, the group’s mid-market buyout arm, took over the existing assets of Abraaj’s Growth Markets Health Fund in Kenya, renaming it The Evercare Health Fund.

It currently owns 30 hospitals, 16 clinics and 82 diagnostic centres around the world.

Mr Colella was quoted saying Evercare has taken a number of steps to improve governance such as changing leadership, investing in finance and information technology, and creating compliance and audit committees at hospitals.

TPG signed a deal in 2019, to take over and manage Abraaj’s $1 billion (about Sh101 billion) healthcare fund offering relief for the Kenyan medical outlets where the fund had pumped in billions of shillings.

Abraaj, once the Middle East and North Africa’s biggest buyout funds, collapsed following a row with investors over the use of money in the healthcare fund.

Abraaj had a row with investors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the IFC over the use of money in the Sh101 billion healthcare fund.

This led to months of financial turmoil at the Dubai-based firm which filed for provisional liquidation in 2018.

The arrest of Abraaj executives on fraud charges had heightened uncertainty among Kenyan firms where it pumped billions before collapse.

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