Ascent Rift Valley Fund Ltd (ARVF) has announced that it has exited as a shareholder of Medpharm Holdings Africa (Medpharm). Medpharm is a provider of medical diagnostic laboratory services in Ethiopia.

ARVF has sold its stake in the company to Cerba Lancet Africa (CLA), a network of clinical pathology and medical diagnosis in Africa with 170 sites, across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Founded in 2004, Medpharm operates under the International Clinical Laboratories (ICL) brand and provides quality laboratory services across Ethiopia. It’s main laboratory located in the Kera area of Addis Ababa and 19 patient service centres in Addis Ababa and the regional cities of Bahir Dar, Mekelle, Hawassa, Adama, Gondar, Jimma, Dessie, Diredawa and Harrar.

ARVF invested in Medpharm in 2015 and over that time the Company’s revenue has grown 9 fold with tests volumes growing 15,000 per month to 40,000 per month making it the diagnostics market leader in Ethiopia. The Company’s pioneering hub and spoke model in Ethiopia has expanded healthcare access in the country outside of Addis Ababa as well as to other countries in the region.

David Owino, the Managing Partner at Ascent Capital Advisory Services LLP (Ascent) said “We are pleased to have contributed to the growth of ICL to become the leading laboratory services provider in Ethiopia, expanding healthcare access to the people of Ethiopia. Our exit to Cerba Lancet Africa demonstrates the tremendous potential within the Ethiopian market and the partnership between Medpharm and Cerba Lancet Africa marks a significant milestone in the Company’s growth. Ascent remains committed to partnering with exceptional entrepreneurs to deliver growth, a commercial return, and positive social impact.”

Tamrat Bekele, Managing Director at Medpharm Africa said, “We have been privileged to work with Ascent, who in addition to providing capital, helped bring on board strategic expertise that has been useful in cementing our leadership position in the market. We are excited to advance our growth with an internationally reputable brand in Cerba Lancet Africa, expanding our network, test menu and capabilities. Ethiopia remains largely underserved and we look forward to delivering a larger positive impact in the country as well as to exploring opportunities in other markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Ascent, through its associated advisory firms, was advised by I&M Burbidge Capital Limited and Clyde & Co. in this transaction.

The Ascent Rift Valley Fund Limited (ARVF) is a USD 80 million private equity fund whose focus is to invest in East Africa targeting small and medium sized companies (SMEs). ARVF has invested in scalable fast growing enterprises with investments amounts ranging between USD 2 million to USD 14 million per Investee Company.

Ascent Capital Africa Ltd is the exclusive investment adviser to ARVF. Through its associated advisory firms, Ascent Capital is represented in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. Ascent Capital Advisory Services LLP is the Kenyan firm advising Ascent Capital.