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Bamboo Capital Partners Exits its Investment from Vitas

Published 10/16/2017 by Global Communities


Bamboo Capital Partners Exits its Investment from Vitas

After six years of investment, Bamboo Capital Partners (“Bamboo”), a leading impact investing private equity firm delivering social and financial value, has profitably exited from its investment in Vitas Group.

The transaction was achieved through a repurchase of shares by Vitas financed through existing internal funds. Bamboo commenced its partnership with Vitas six years ago when it entered as the anchor equity investor alongside the founding investor Global Communities.

Commenting on this development, Elissa McCarter LaBorde, Chief Executive Officer at Vitas Group said: “We have benefited greatly from the partnership with Bamboo, the first minority investor who believed in us at an early stage. Bamboo provided us with the critical initial funding to invest in strong standards and systems that we rolled out across the network.

The sustained profitability, shoring up of balance sheets, strong track record of portfolio growth and job creation that Vitas proved during this period has ultimately paved the way to two highly successful private equity transactions with local strategic investors that we completed this year. This ‘crowding in’ of new private investors who believe in our mission is exactly what we hoped to achieve and is most importantly proof that investing in the low-income customer does yield both social and financial returns.”

Vitas has grown significantly over the course of Bamboo’s investment. Since 2011, Vitas and its affiliates’ Gross Loan Portfolio increased from $82 million to $247 million and the number of clients has tripled. Currently, Vitas and its affiliates serve more than 112,000 clients while employing nearly 1600 local professional staff.

“Vitas has consistently delivered impressive and commercially sustainable results in some of the most challenging and under-penetrated markets in the world. This has been achieved through the Vitas team’s passion, willingness to innovate and solid operational management – a culture that pervades through the organization.

Moreover, our backing of Vitas epitomizes Bamboo’s ethos – as well as delivering financial returns for our investors, we want to have positive social impact too. We are proud to have responsibly exited the company and we wish Vitas all the best in the next phase of its strategy,” said Jean-Philippe de Schrevel, Founder and Managing Partner at Bamboo.

Vitas was set up to house Global Communities’ commercial MFI operations, as well as provide strategic, operational, and capital support to sustainably grow each of the subsidiaries in a responsible way. Vitas’ MFI operations are now considered among the largest and most sustainably profitable across the Middle East and North Africa. As part of its social mission, Vitas promotes youth entrepreneurship, women business owners, and job creation.  In 2016, more than a third of Vitas’ clients were under the age of 30, nearly 40% of its business clients were women, and more than 95,000 jobs were created and sustained.

David A. Weiss, Chairman of Vitas Group and President and CEO of Global Communities, said: “Global Communities is proud of our long and fruitful relationship with Bamboo, which became our first minority investor at a critical time in the growth of the Vitas Group. Their partnership was invaluable not only in the growth and profitability of Vitas, but in their contribution toward setting common platforms across Vitas’ network for systems and standards that have served to strengthen operations and management. We greatly appreciate Bamboo’s strong and sustained commitment over the past six years to Vitas’ mission to providing consistent access to finance to middle and low income families in some of the most volatile countries in the world.”

About Bamboo Capital Partners
Bamboo Capital Partners is a commercial private equity firm making investments that matter. Bamboo’s investment thesis is centered on access to finance, clean energy and health care in emerging markets. It finds game-changing businesses that can tap into significant market opportunities to deliver both financial and social returns. Its investment portfolio includes many financial inclusion focused companies across the world, pursuing traditional and high tech business models.

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About Global Communities and Vitas Group
Global Communities is a global non-profit organization that works closely with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable.  Founded by Global Communities, Vitas Group is a US-based for-profit holding company that operates a network of microfinance companies, predominantly in the Middle East, aimed at improving long-term development impact on families, businesses and communities through the provision of financial services. Over the last 10 years, Vitas companies have disbursed more than $1.4 billion to over 535,000 customers with an annual default rate below one percent.
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