September 3, 2019

Santa Clara Medical: AXA Mansard, IFC and ACA’s Hospital Project Halted

Samuel Haidome

AXA Mansard’s plans to sponsor the development of a 150-bed acute care hospital have been placed on hold according to information provided in their 2018 financials, citing unforeseen circumstances as the reason for the halt in plans. Santa Clara Medical Limited, the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) created to fund the project was promoted by AXA Mansard Plc – the Nigerian subsidiary of AXA Group, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the CAPE IV Fund – managed by African Capital Alliance, and Healthshare Limited – a South African hospital management company.

The development of a hospital, as well as, a chain of referral clinics across Lagos, was a deliberate attempt to cater to the underserved healthcare sector in the state. The project team hoped to reduce Nigerian healthcare tourism, currently estimated at over $1 billion annually by offering improved general medical and speciality services such as orthopaedics, nephrology, urology, cardiology and neurology. The project was also expected to support AXA Mansard’s health insurance business.

In March 2017, as part of their access to information policy, the IFC announced that it was mulling an equity investment for a 20% stake in a healthcare project with AXA Mansard. In November of the same year, the IFC made an equity investment of $8.5 million into Santa Clara Medical Limited and this was followed by the African Development Bank’s decision to approve a senior loan equivalent to $20 million to Santa Clara Medical Limited, in April 2018.

To kickstart this project, AXA Mansard had purchased a 20,000 sqm plot of land, located in Bela Vista Estate in Ikate Elegushi Lekki.

By the end of 2018, the land purchased was transferred to the books of AXA Mansard Insurance Plc., classified as an investment property and held at ₦3.04 billion. As at H1:2019, the property was held at ₦1.52 billion, an indication that a disposal could be in progress. According to AXA Mansard’s books, “the project has been put on hold, while management embarks on further studies in order to determine an appropriate structure of intervention within the Nigerian Healthcare delivery system.”

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