Makini Schools founder Mary Okello earned nearly Sh1 billion from the recent sale of a 71 per cent stake in her high-end group of eight schools to two foreign investors. Mrs Okello surrendered management of the Makini schools that host over 3,200 students in April this year to UK-based investor Scholé Limited and South Africa’s Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)-listed Advtech.
The move saw her relinquish management of the group of schools she and her late husband, Pius Okello, founded 40 years ago. “A 71 per cent interest in Makini School Limited (via Schole Mauritius Limited) was acquired on 1 May 2018 for a consideration of R130.8 million (about Sh930 million),” disclosed Advtech in a trading update last week. Advtech, a private education operator in Africa, said the Makini acquisition had boosted its total revenue for the six months ended June by 13 per cent to R2.3 billion (about Sh16.3 billion).
Mrs Okello, a resilient entrepreneur who was the first African woman to become a Barclays Bank of Kenya branch manager in 1977, could not be reached for comment on the transaction. Her son Joseph Okello declined to comment on the transaction, referring our queries to Advtech. “We have always strived to improve the standards at Makini and now we wish to firmly establish schools as centres of excellence. In this regard, we have decided the time is right to introduce experienced international educationists and I am writing to share with you this new development about Makini Schools,” Mrs Okello said in April when news of the transaction first broke.
“With the support of the Advtech Group they (Scholé Limited) have undertaken to give new impetus to the Makini Schools by ensuring that children benefit from an enhanced quality of education and facilities. Makini will be continuing with the Kenyan curriculum.”