The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Investment Funds for Health in Africa (IFHA)-II, a private equity fund focused on health care in Sub-Saharan Africa, on Saturday launched a US$115 million holding company to acquire and integrate targeted health care service businesses in East and Southern Africa.

The project will boost access to quality health care services to help improve lives and achieve universal health coverage across the region.

IFC is investing us$22 million in the Hospital Holdings Investment (HHI) holding company, an investment platform set up by IFHA-II, which is also supported by the European development finance organisations Swedfund, Proparco, Finnfund and IFU, Danish Investment Fund for Developing countries. HHI will be IFC’s largest equity investment in health care in Sub-Saharan Africa, outside of South Africa. IFC also mobilized US$43.2 million from other investors.

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“HHI is filling a critical gap in the health care sector by providing secondary and out-of-hospital care for middle to lower middle income patients in East and Southern Africa. We aim to offer accessible, affordable and quality health care by increasing the number of hospitals and clinics we operate,” said Max Coppoolse, Chairman of the Board of HHI and Managing Partner at IFHA-II.

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. This will be achieved both by building new facilities and acquiring existing health care assets.

“Access to quality and affordable healthcare is essential for building the human capital that economies need to promote growth,” said Stephanie von Friedeburg, IFC’s Chief Operating Officer, during a signing event on the sidelines of the Investment for Africa Forum in Cairo. “Private investment in the health sector in Africa—like the agreement we signed today with IFHA-II—is a key strategy for competitiveness and growth.”

IFC is the largest multilateral investor in health care in developing countries, with investments in over 200 projects in the past two decades totaling US$4.3 billion.

IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

The Investment Funds for Health in Africa are private equity funds dedicated to small to medium size (equity) investments in private healthcare companies in Africa. IFHA, invests in private healthcare companies that operate in fast-growing markets and show unique advantages over the competition. IFHA responds to the growing need for capital investments in private healthcare in Africa, which are driven by the market growth and improved economic performance in Africa over the past number of years.