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Ascent Capital Africa Sells Uganda Pharmacy Stake

The Africa-focused private equity firm has sold its interest in Guardian Health to a Kenyan company, marking its exit after six years.

Ascent Capital Africa (Ascent) has disposed of its interest in Ugandan pharmacy Guardian Health, selling it to Kenya-based pharmacy and personal care e-commerce company MyDawa Trading, effective 1 September.

Deal values were not published for the transaction, which was first announced on 4 July. Ascent received international legal counsel from global law firm Clyde & Co, with Nairobi business advisory I&M Burbidge Capital acting as the seller’s transactional adviser.

Kampala-headquartered Guardian Health continues to see rapid growth in Uganda since its founding in 2012, having expanded to 19 sites, founded e-commerce and wholesale channels, and developed its product range beyond medicines to encompass beauty and personal care product lines.

Private equity firm Ascent first invested in 2017 when Guardian had only six sites, and effected the investment via its USD 80 million Ascent Rift Valley Fund, which targets growth opportunities in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.

MyDawa Trading in Nairobi remains a frontrunner in Kenya’s e-commerce retail pharmacy and beauty sector since its 2017 establishment.

Clyde & Co used a team supervised by Tanzania managing partner Peter Kasanda with input from Kenya senior associate Alex Devereux, while CEO Edward Burbidge and senior vice-president Kevin Kuria acted on the I&M Burbidge team.

In July, technology and distribution company Kyosk Digital Services acquired fellow Nairobi-founded Kwikbasket, which connects food producers with commercial kitchens and other stakeholders to drive supply-chain efficiencies. 

Source : African Law Business