AChicago-based private equity fund Equator Capital Partners LLC, under its ShoreCap II fund buys 15 pc shares of Jamii Bora Bank Limited at a tune
of a Sh600 million. The investment will see ShoreCap II become a significant shareholder of the bank with a 15 percent stake in the tier three bank.
The Bank (Jamii bora) becomes the 7th bank deal this year that has seen Fidelity and Giro commercial banks fully acquired with four other banks selling a majority stake to two investment firms, a SACCO and a commercial bank.
Sam Kimani, the Jamii Bora Chief Executive Officer says Equator Capital’s international background and exposure will be of benefit to the bank in reinforcing its corporate governance structures while diversifying the shareholders’ mix. Kimani explains, “We are excited to have Equator Capital Partners as a strategic partner and significant shareholder of the bank. Their investment in JBBL is a testament to our sound strategy, stable financial position and commitment to creating tangible impact and enhancing banking value offered to SMEs across Kenya.” ShoreCap II is Equator Capital Partner’s Sh 8billion international fund incorporated in Mauritius in 2009, focused on investments in small and medium-sized financial institutions in Asia and Africa. The investment in Jamii Bora Bank marks the fund manager’s tenth investment in Africa, across 15 sub-Saharan African countries over the last 13 years. The fund according to Nathalie Gabala, Director of Africa Investments says is aligned to Jamii Bora’s strategic focus as an SME lender. “It is a transitional period for the Kenyan banking industry. We believe Jamii Bora Bank’s strategic focus as an SME lender strongly resonates with our investment approach to. Our investment approach is to deliver inclusive financial services that promote sustainable economic, social and environmental development through private sector investments, ”Gabala. He assures that the bank is also managed by dedicated executives backed by a competent team and look forward to collaborating with them to enrich their value to society and grow the Bank to a reputable high impact institution. Jamii Bora’s core capital has now hit Sh3.7 billion, with a customer base of over 400,000, served by 26 branches across the country, through the equity investment.