Private-equity fund manager Ascent Capital has raised a KES 15.4 billion fund to invest in SMEs in East Africa, looking to take large minority or majority stakes.
The targeted sectors by the fund include manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade services, financial services, education, healthcare, and agro-processing.
The fund marks the final close of the firm’s Ascent Rift Valley Fund II (ARVF II), exceeding its initial target of KES 14.4 billion. The first close of ARVF II was in December 2020.
Investors in ARVF II include BIO (Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, BII Group, FMO (Dutch entrepreneurial development bank), IFC (International Finance Corporation), Norfund (the Norwegian Investment Fund for developing countries), FISEA, and SDG Frontier Fund.
Ascent said it is not specifically targeting buy-outs but will instead avail growth capital to the small businesses in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.
ARVF II has already made three investments to date in the financial and healthcare services sectors. The two recently published investments are Valley Hospital in Nakuru, Kenya and Diani Beach Hospital on the South Coast of Kenya.
Ascent Capital last year also raised KES 12 billion from the World Bank and top sovereign funds for acquiring stakes in companies across Eastern Africa.