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British International Investment Announces Sale of Stake in I&M to AfricInvest

British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, has successfully sold its 10.1% stake in I&M Group PLC to AfricInvest, a leading Pan-African asset management platform.

This transaction marks the end of a seven-year equity partnership between BII and I&M and is one of the most significant financial transactions in East Africa in recent years.

Transaction Details:

  • Acquirer: AfricInvest, via East Africa Growth Holding, a special purpose vehicle.
  • Seller: British International Investment (BII).
  • Stake Sold: 10.1% in I&M Group PLC.

About I&M Group PLC: I&M Group PLC is a prominent banking group in Eastern Africa with operations in Kenya, Mauritius, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. It provides financial services to individuals, MSMEs, and corporates. The group is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, and its Rwandan subsidiary, I&M Bank Rwanda PLC, is listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange.

Background and Significance: BII’s investment in I&M began in 2016. The sale to AfricInvest underscores confidence in the region’s financial services sector and coincides with the 50th anniversary of I&M Bank Limited. Over the past years, I&M Group has expanded its role significantly, driving sustainable economic development in the region.

Statements from Key Stakeholders:

Maximilian Biswanger, Investment Director at BII: “Having been a trusted equity partner to I&M for over seven years, today’s announcement represents a great outcome to BII’s engagement. I&M Group PLC has expanded its role as a major driver for sustainable economic development in the region.”

Julius Tichelaar, Senior Partner at AfricInvest: “I&M Group PLC has established a very strong franchise in East Africa and the Indian Ocean over the past five decades. AfricInvest is extremely proud and honored to extend its partnership with I&M Group PLC.”

Sarit Raja-Shah, Executive Director at I&M Group PLC: “The years since 2016 saw us bolster our position as a leading financial services conglomerate in Eastern Africa with BII’s support. We are confident that AfricInvest’s investment will continue to support our growth and enhance financial inclusion in the markets where we operate.”

Key Achievements During BII’s Investment:

  • Commercial Growth: I&M’s loan book nearly tripled from KES 135 billion to KES 310 billion, and its customer base grew from 100,000 to over 500,000.
  • Tier 1 Status: Achieved Tier 1 status in the Kenyan banking industry in 2019.
  • Digital Innovation: Significant increase in digital active customer base (>75%) and digital transactions (>80% in 2023).
  • SME Support: Increased lending to SMEs, supporting the UN’s SDGs, particularly SDG 9.3 and SDG 8.10.
  • Environmental Commitment: Launched a green energy lending scheme worth KES 6 billion and focused on reducing carbon emissions (SDG 13).

AfricInvest’s Role: AfricInvest has a long-standing commitment to the financial services industry, with a focus on leveraging I&M’s strong digital infrastructure and innovative capabilities to support regional expansion. AfricInvest’s previous acquisition of a 24.76% share in I&M Bank Rwanda in 2019 further solidifies its strategic interest in the region.

Future Prospects: AfricInvest’s investment aims to build on the progress made by BII, focusing on sustainability and financial inclusion. The commitment to supporting I&M’s sustainability journey and creating lasting environmental and social value is expected to drive the group’s future growth and regional presence.

The sale of BII’s stake in I&M Group PLC to AfricInvest marks a significant milestone in East Africa’s financial sector. It reflects the confidence of the investment community in the region’s potential and sets the stage for continued growth and innovation in financial services.

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