UK Investor Sells $27M Stake in Bank Founded by Kenyan Entrepreneur

British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, has sold its 10.13% investment in I&M Group, an East African financial services conglomerate created by Kenyan businessman Suresh Bhagwanji Shah.

The disposal, estimated at Ksh3.47 billion ($27 million), is a strategic move that brings BII’s seven-year association with I&M Group to an end and allows a local investor to enter the largest East African financial services conglomerate.

Formerly known as CDC Group, BII invested $50 million in 2016 to purchase a 10.1% equity stake in I&M Group. This investment has helped I&M Group’s growth strategy over the years, cementing its position as a key player in the East African financial market.

The transaction is one of the largest secondary deals in recent East African financial history. Speaking on behalf of the I&M Group, Executive Director Sarit Raja-Shah appreciated BII’s critical role in promoting the company’s strategic initiatives throughout their collaboration.

“It is notable that when BII invested in the company, we had just embarked on our iMara Strategy which was to be implemented in three cycles,” stated Sarit Raja-Shah. “As we transition to Africinvest, our new strategic investor, we continue our commitment to sustainability and enhancing financial inclusion in the markets we serve.”

Suresh Bhagwanji Shah founded I&M Group in 1974, which now functions as I&M Bank Limited’s non-operating holding company. The financial services firm has active operations in Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda, as well as a joint venture in Mauritius.

Shah, who is credited with developing I&M into one of East Africa’s premier banking companies, still has a beneficial 10.98 percent ownership in the top-performing financial services provider, which is equivalent to 178,514,362 ordinary shares. Shah owns a significant position in MTZ Holdings, which just acquired Nairobi Business Park, a prime office building in Nairobi.

The recent acquisition of BII’s stock by a local investor increases I&M Group’s local ownership while also improving its market understanding and operational agility. With a strategic focus on growing digital solutions and improving financial access, I&M Group is well-positioned to seize emerging possibilities in East Africa’s changing economic landscape.

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