Catalyst Fund II LP

Kenya Food and agriculture, Manufacturing, Financial services

Catalyst Principal Partners is a Nairobi-based private equity fund manager that works across East Africa, with a primary focus on Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Ethiopia.

Catalyst Fund II focuses on investments in small and mid-sized companies with strong growth prospects in the region. 

The fund’s target geographies include Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia and the DRC. Catalyst Fund II invests in sectors reflecting a rising consumer demand, such as consumer staples, financial services, industrials and healthcare.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

In 2016, CDC invested $30 million in Catalyst Fund II, alongside the EIB, the IFC, Proparco and Swedish DFI, Swedfund. This follows on from our $15 million investment in Catalyst Fund I. Catalyst Fund II is targeting a total fund size of up to $175 million. Our investment will enable the fund manager to stimulate growth prospects for East African SMEs.

Expected impact

Much of East Africa has seen a period of economic and political uncertainty, restricting the growth of the region’s SMEs and limiting cross-border trade. 

Our investment enables the fund manager to support high-growth East African SMEs that are expanding in response to growing domestic consumer demand, and strengthen intra-regional trade by tapping into infrastructure improvements and technological innovation.  It also supports the creation of direct and indirect jobs.

The fund manager also provides strategic and operational input to investee companies. This ensures effective governance and enables the development of business skills.

The fund has already completed the acquisition of a leading Kenyan biscuit manufacturer.

Environmental and social aspects

We are working closely with the fund manager to improve its existing Environmental and Social Management System, including delivering an action plan.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

Africa, East Africa

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people. For funds, the sectors listed here are those the fund has invested in so far.

Financial services, Food and agriculture, Manufacturing
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Intermediated investment
Fund manager:
Catalyst Principal Partners
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date British International Investment committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that British International Investment committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

December 2016

For direct investments, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the fund.


This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.


Investments made by this fund

  • Active
  • Exited
Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Britania Foods Limited

Leading manufacturer of biscuits

View investment details

Kenya Africa, East Africa Food and agriculture December 2016 Active
Mammoth Holdings Africa Manufacturing June 2018 Active
Prime Bank Kenya Africa, East Africa Financial services December 2018 Active

We are now British International Investment