LeapFrog Investments, a leading specialist investor in emerging markets, has acquired a Sh2.2 billion majority stake in Kenya’s GoodLife Pharmacy, the largest direct investment in the East African retail pharmacy sector to date.
LeapFrog Investments, which has been focused on the financial services sector said it was diversifying its private equity investments into a closely linked sector – healthcare. LeapFrog also noted that this approach is aimed at partnering with companies in Asia and Africa that are addressing this challenge.
The Goodlife investment follows LeapFrog’s 2014 investment of KSH 18.7 billion in leading Kenyan health insurer Resolution Insurance.
Dr. Felix Olale and Michael Fernandes, Partners, will serve as Global Co-Leads for health investments supported by a team of eight specialists with deep healthcare investment expertise, and experience of African and Asian markets. Leapfrog’s wider global network will support origination and execution.
“Low health insurance penetration, coupled with an increase in utilization of services has an enormous impact on the ability of consumers to access and afford quality health care. By moving into health, we are taking a unique approach and addressing the challenge from both sides – investing in both health insurance companies and health service providers,” said Dr. Olale.
A leading healthcare expert in emerging markets, Dr. Felix Olale was previously the Chairman of the Excelsior Group, a US-Kenyan based advisor and investor in healthcare, finance and technology companies in Africa. Prior to that he was an Associate Partner with McKinsey & Company in New York.
Michael Fernandes, Global Co-Lead responsible for Asia, has an extensive track record in health investments. He previously served as Country Head for India for Khazanah Nasional Berhad, leading a global healthcare team responsible for over $7bn of investments across the platform. Michael also served on the Boards of the Indian-based Infrastructure Development Finance Company and Apollo Hospitals, the leading healthcare provider in India.
Goodlife provides trusted pharmaceuticals and wellness products to over 600,000 customers from 19 different convenient locations across East Africa. With LeapFrog’s investment, Goodlife plans to expand its footprint to more than 100 stores over the next five years. Goodlife was co-founded by Dr. Josh Ruxin in Nairobi in 2013, the company has quickly grown to over 200 employees under the leadership of its CEO, Tony McNally.