Private Equity firm Fanisi Capital wants to pump Sh400 million in Kitengela International School (KISC), building on the 2011 acquisition of Hillcrest Group of Schools. The investment will see the school triple student population to over 3,000 and open up two more institutions in the next three to five years. Fanisi co-managing partner and CEO Ayisi Makatiani Thursday said the deal presents an opportunity to tap into the growing population and middle class in Kenya looking for quality education.
“There is a growing population willing to spend a little more to ensure children access holistic quality education. We want to build more centres of excellence and expand footprint,” said Mr Makatiani. The agreement will see Fanisi initially invest Sh205 million, followed by Sh195 million, being part of the second tranche of a Sh5 billion fund. The fund drive closes in two months having attracted 12 local pension schemes including National Social Security Fund.
Currently, KISC has four schools set on two campuses in Kitengela and on Mombasa Road with a population of about 1,000 students. It was opened on January 5, 2009 and offers both 8-4-4 curriculum and British curriculum.
KISC founder and managing director Paul Mwangagi, a quantity surveyor who formerly worked in the Ministry of Housing and Public works, said the deal offers the school room for facelift and accelerated growth. “We want to use the initial Sh205 million to integrate more ICT into learning, develop more classrooms, auditoriums and hostels. We are also thinking about having new branches in the second part of investment,” he said.
Fanisi kicked off with Karen suburb-based Hillcrest school, which it pulled out of a five-year receivership status and settled Sh620 million debt that the family of late Kenneth Matiba and other investors owed Barclays Bank of Kenya.
Many investment vehicles are now deepening their stakes in education sector mostly targeting middle and high end families. Last year, Centum Investment partnered with Investbridge Capital and Sabis Education Network in a Sh2 billion deal to set up schools in Runda. In 2015, Christopher Khaemba, a former Principal of Alliance High School also teamed up with foreign investors to establish Nova Academies in Tatu city and Athi River.