Jamii Bora Bank Limited (JBBL), an SME-focused lender, has received a Sh600 million capital injection from Chicago-based private equity fund Equator Capital Partners LLC, under its ShoreCap II fund.
The investment will see ShoreCap II become a significant shareholder of the bank with a stake of more than 15 per cent.
“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.
“We believe their international background and exposure will be of benefit to JBBL in reinforcing its corporate governance structures while diversifying the shareholders’ mix,” said the Jamii Bora chief executive Sam Kimani.
Equator Capital Partners is a private equity fund which invests in inclusive financial service entities in developing economies.
ShoreCap II is Equator Capital Partner’s Sh8 billion ($80 million) international fund incorporated in Mauritius in 2009.
The company focuses on investments in small and medium-sized financial institutions in Asia and Africa.
“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 deliver inclusive financial services that promote sustainable economic, social and environmental development through private sector investments.
“The bank is also managed by dedicated executives backed by a competent team and we look forward to collaborating with them to enrich their value to society and grow the bank to a reputable high impact institution.” said the Equator Capital director of Africa investments Nathalie Gabala.
Jamii Bora has grown its total capital consistently over the past five years. Following the equity investment by ShoreCap II total capital grew to Sh3.7 billion, placing the bank among top 20 banks by capitalisation out of 43 banks in Kenya.
The investment marks the American fund manager’s tenth investment in Africa, across 15 sub-Saharan African countries, in the past 13 years.