Africa’s Ascent gets $1m from Kenyan pension scheme


nairobi-city-878475-mAscent Capital Africa has received a $1m commitment from Kenya’s Nation Media Group Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme towards its Rift Valley Fund.

The money has come via Nation Media’s fund manager STANLIB Kenya, and follows a $4m commitment made by Kenya Power and Lighting in July last year.

At that point the Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya-targeting vehicle held a $50m first close.

Ascent says the latest commitment cements its position as the ‘only private equity fund to continually unlock investment from local pension funds’ in the region.

Other investors in the fund include Norwary sovereign wealth investor Norfund, Austrian government-backed OeEB as well as family offices and pension funds.

Ascent partner David Owino said, “One of the key advantages that PE is offering pension funds is a mix of investment opportunities managed by seasoned investment professionals.

“We have a knowledgeable, hands on, operational savvy team with experience in identifying opportunities and creating sustainable value.”

Ascent’s first investment was Ethiopia-headquartered medical diagnostic laboratory Medpharm Holdings Africa.

The firm is looking to invest between $3m and $7m for majority stakes in up to 12 companies across seven African countries, with the majority in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.

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