August 28, 2017

Acorn Investments & Helios Portfolio Company Plan Nairobi Student Housing Project

Dolapo Omidire

Acorn Investments and Helios Investors III LP (via Accord Holdco) are planning on developing approximately 3,800 units of youth rental housing primarily in Nairobi, Kenya in a new 50:50 joint venture called Acorn Holdings Limited (Acorn).

Acorn will be constructing properties at several sites in and around Nairobi, close to university campuses, where the initial project sites are near Strathmore, United States International University and Daystar University, among others.

The IFC is currently reviewing the project, which will cost and estimated $72m, as a potential recipient of up to $40m in the form of a senior secured A Loan. The facility will be structured as long-term local currency financing with a 12 year tenor inclusive of 3 year grace period. The IFC published its intention to consider and potentially invest in this project as part of their Access to Information Policy (AIP), which seeks to provide accurate and timely information to its clients, partners and stakeholders. They believe their support for a rental housing model will go a long way in providing a viable solution for addressing the housing shortage in Nairobi and while also reducing the deficit in affordable accommodation for those in tertiary institutions and those newly out of college who cannot afford to buy properties of their own.

Acorn Investments is owned by a group of shareholders also known as the Acorn Group, a developer and project manager in Kenya that was established in 2001.  

Helios is one of the largest Africa-focused investment firms with a track record that spans across start-ups to established companies. It manages funds totaling c. $3 billion including three generalist funds. 

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