Kenya Public/Private Equity Healthcare Market faces another setback with management displaced at Nairobi Women’s Hospital Group in wake of Owaahh reporting

Update: Feb. 12, Jaindi Kisero column in Daily Nation recommends, “To ward off greedy investors, fund locals to put up private hospitals“.

Back in 2019 a private equity group from Ft. Worth, Texas and San Francisco, TPG, took over the Abraaj Growth Markets Health Fund from it’s interim manager Alix Partners, the U.S.- based restructuring/insolvency advisors. The Abraaj funds, run ot of Dubai by original Pakistani investors, had been apparently fraudulently tapped by management, thus the restructuring under the auspices of a Limited Partner Advisory Committee, which hired Alix.

The Limited Partners included global healthcare giants Phillips and Medtronic, multilateral development lenders including the IFC as well as bilateral development finance agencies such as the US Government’s OPIC, the CDC and Proparco. Likewise the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation invested.

TPG renamed the Abraaj Growth Markets Health Fund as the Evercare Health Fund, to be managed by TPG Growth. At the time of the TPG announcement, Evercare was identified as having a “portfolio which includes 26 hospitals, 18 clinics, 40 diagnostics centres and 2 brownfield and greenfield assets” in Africa and Asia. One of the asset groups in the newly renamed Health Fund was a Kenya for profit group of small hospitals called Nairobi Women’s.

See “US fund cleared to take over Avenue Park and Metropolitan” in The Business Daily.

Triggered by an explosive series by prominent Nairobi blogger Owaahh, “Have you ever been to a private hospital“, scrutiny has come down on the group for profiteering behavior toward patients without medical basis. Insurers pulled back and now the Fund has announced an interim management change with the entrepreneur/doctor who built and ran group stepping aside in favor of a three member team of Evercare representatives pending professional reviews.

Meanwhile, south of the Sahara . . .

*While Kenyan politicians focus on the 2012 presidential race, perhaps as much as half of the population of of Mandera has been displaced by the fighting between al-Shabaab and pro-TFG forces in southern Somalia. Likewise there has been a large influx of Somali refugees and the border has now been “closed” again. Here is a report from IRIN.

*Carlyle Group will launch a $750 fund to invest in Africa, reports the Financial Times.

Carlyle already has a significant presence in north Africa, as well as a dedicated private equity fund for the Middle East and north Africa.

Many parts of Africa are now enjoying better prospects than at any time in recent history due largely to a rush for resources led by the Chinese.

“The majority of Americans don’t pay enough attention to Africa,” one source close to Carlyle said. “It has been China that has been the catalyst for economic activity in Africa.”

Carlyle’s fundraising machine is by far the most powerful of any of the large private equity groups.

*McClatchy’s Planet Washington blog reports that wildlife groups are seeking U.S. Endangered Species Act protection for African lions. Apparently the U.S. is the biggest importer of lion trophies and lion parts. Who knew?

*Ethiopia and Tanzania are two of the countries that are due to receive significant increases in official assistance from the UK as the Tory government refocuses DFID spending from more affluent countries to those most impoverished. The BBC gives details here.

For Kenya, the UK has reintroduced conditionality due to the pervasive corruption problems. This will result in significant cuts this year, delayed or denied funding based on reforms and the possibilities for increases in future years based on progress. This is front page news in Kenya--see the Daily Nation story here.