NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 23 – A specialist investor in emerging markets has acquired GoodLife Pharmacy at a cost of Sh2.2 billion.
The acquisition of GoodLife Pharmacy by LeapFrog Investments is the largest foreign direct investment in the East African retail pharmacy sector so far.
LeapFrog, which has invested in 22 countries across Asia and Africa, is a leading specialist investor across 22 markets in Asia and Africa.
Goodlife Pharmacy provides pharmaceuticals and wellness products to over 600,000 customers from 19 different locations in East Africa.
Goodlife plans to expand its footprint to more than 100 stores over the next five years.
Co-founded by Josh Ruxin in Nairobi in 2013, the company has quickly grown to over 200 employees.
“LeapFrog is not just a provider of capital. We also appreciate their healthcare expertise and look forward to partnering closely with them to accelerate growth. This investment will benefit the people that really matter – our customers. The partnership will help us deliver high-quality products to millions of people at affordable prices. Through Goodlife, we intend to transform healthcare delivery in Africa,” Ruxin said.
Michael Fernandes, Global Co-Lead responsible for Asia, said LeapFrog invests in companies that are re-thinking traditional approaches to health care.
“By focusing on bridging the gap in products and services that are most relevant within emerging markets, we can bring health services closer to the consumer and improve patient outcomes, while making top returns for our investors,” added Fernandes.
The Goodlife transaction was led by Dr. Felix Olale, who was previously the Chairman of the Excelsior Group, a US-Kenyan based advisor and investor in healthcare, finance and technology companies in Africa.
Olale says low health insurance penetration has an enormous impact on the ability of consumers to access and afford quality health care.
“By moving into health, we are taking a unique approach and addressing the challenge from both sides – investing in both health insurance companies and health service providers,” said Dr. Olale.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 150 million people fall into poverty annually due to catastrophic healthcare events and an inability to pay out-of-pocket for healthcare services.