DUBAI Jan 30 Abraaj Capital is scouting for
more acquisitions in Africa's healthcare industry, a senior
executive said on Wednesday, after the emerging markets private
equity firm invested in Uganda's biggest pharmacy chain.
Abraaj, which manages around $7.5 billion in assets,
announced an investment in Vine Pharmaceuticals through its
Africa Health Fund. It did not provide any financial details of
"Healthcare in Africa remains a huge opportunity. We have
made a number of investments already and are currently in
discussions with other targets for potential funding and should
be in a position to close additional transactions through the
year," said Shakir Merali, a Nairobi-based partner at Abraaj.
"The ability of people in the continent to spend on
healthcare is increasing and the demand, given the
infrastructure deficit, is substantial."
The Africa health fund was set up in 2009 with the
International Finance Corp, The African Development Bank, DEG,
and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as cornerstone
The health fund was initially launched by Aureos Capital.
Abraaj bought emerging market fund manager Aureos Capital last
year aiming to boost its small and medium-sized businesses in
Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Vine Pharmaceuticals was founded in 1999 and operates 21
stores in Uganda and a pharmaceutical import business, Abraaj
said in a statement.
"The majority of retail pharmacy businesses in Africa are
very fragmented. With the right type of investment and
on-the-ground engagement, you have the ability to create
substantial institutions in a relatively short period of time,"
Abraaj owns stakes in firms such as Egypt's Orascom
Construction, budget carrier Air Arabia and
supermarket chain Spinneys.
(Reporting by Dinesh Nair; Editing by Amran Abocar)