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ARF III invests in Ecopharm

Anna Lyudvig
Jan. 6, 2021, 9:44 p.m.

Word count: 443

XSML, through its third fund under management, ARF III, has announced its fourth investment in Ecopharm, the pharmacy chain active in Uganda.  

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XSML, through its third fund under management, ARF III, has announced its fourth investment in Ecopharm, the pharmacy chain active in Uganda.  

Since XSML’s first investment, Ecopharm has more than doubled its network to fifteen pharmacies in Kampala and is aiming to add three more pharmacies with the new investment.

Jarl Heijstee, Managing Partner at XSML, said: “Ecopharm is a good example of helping our existing clients grow and deepening our relationship by also taking an equity stake in the company. Ecopharm has a great market position and is poised to grow further in more rural areas of Uganda. It fits very well in our strategy to provide healthcare services to a wide range of the population and bring these affordable and quality services and products to the rural population of Uganda.”

XSML’s latest investment is in debt and equity as Ecopharm has a significant runway for further growth, given its competitive position in the Ugandan marketplace.

Ecopharm sells pharmaceutical brand products & generics as well as locally produced pharmaceuticals, including over-the-counter and personal care products.

Ecopharm was started in 2008 by Idd Iwumbwe, a qualified pharmacist with over 20 years’ experience in pharmacy.

Ecopharm’s pharmacies are strategically located in Kampala to enable easy access and target the broader population, distinguishing itself through quality, a broad range of products and personal service from a resident pharmacist at each outlet.

Ecopharm is also active in the wholesale of selected branded generic pharmaceuticals in Uganda.

Ecopharm has exclusive import arrangements with a number of European branded generic pharmaceutical manufacturers.  

ARF III targets growing, well-managed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Central & East African region covering Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda and the Republic of Congo and surrounding countries. 

Idd Iwumbwe, CEO of Ecopharm, said: “I am very excited that XSML now joins the company as shareholder. Over the last few crucial years, we have developed a close relationship based on trust and this way, we are assured of a committed shareholder who can help us reach our significant growth plan, while ensuring we keep a close eye on governance.”  

XSML currently has some $125m under management.

Through CASF and ARF, XSML has provided some $70m in risk capital with an investment size ranging from $100,000 to a maximum of $5m.

XSML has made investments in over 50 SMEs across ten sectors.

Both CASF and ARF have been fully invested and 14 investments have been exited.

ARF III continues the existing strategy with investments in between $100,000 and $7.5m.

ARF III had a first close at $55m in August 2020 and since then has made seven investments in new and existing clients.

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