November 2019 Businessdaily; AAR Healthcare businesses are among those targeted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in its five-year investment plan, which will see it buy significant stakes in health facilities in Kenya and Tanzania.
IFC, through its recently formed Hospital Holdings Investment (HHI), said it had joined hands with private investors to raise Sh11.5 billion to complete the buyouts.
“HHI is expected to grow services in East and Southern Africa from one hospital and 35 clinics to five hospitals and 52 clinics, serving up to 1.8 million patients annually over the next five years,” the IFC said. “This will be achieved both by building new facilities and acquiring existing health care assets.”
IFC’s chief operating officer, Stephanie von Friedeburg, said private investment in the health sector in Africa was a key strategy for competitiveness and access to quality and affordable healthcare.
“Access to quality and affordable healthcare is essential for building the human capital that economies need to promote growth,” said Ms Friedeburg on the sidelines of the Investment for Africa Forum in Cairo.
Last year, HHI filed its interest with Tanzania’s Fair Competition Commission to acquire a majority stake in AAR Healthcare (T) Limited which operates eight clinics, supplying consultation, laboratory, pharmacy and basic radiology two services.
In August this year, HHI also filed its intention to increase its stake in AAR Healthcare Holdings (Kenya) to 54.237 percent with the Competition Authority of Kenya.
IFC’s foray into private healthcare has also attracted funding from the European development finance organisations — Swedfund, Proparco, Finnfund and IFU, Danish Investment Fund for Developing countries.
IFC is the largest multilateral investor in health care in developing countries, with investments in over 200 projects in the past two decades totalling Sh430 billion.
The statement said IFC had since mobilised Sh4.32 billion from other investors for the HHI project. The fund, which also counts Pfizer, African Development Bank and European Investment Bank as its backers, has investments in healthcare provider AAR Group.