People move through the corridor of a patient ward at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals facility, operated by Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., in this long-exposure photograph taken in New Delhi, India (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

LeapFrog Takes Majority Stake in India's Ascent Meditech

(Bloomberg) -- LeapFrog Investments, an emerging markets-focused private equity firm, has acquired a majority stake in the Indian health products company Ascent Meditech Ltd.

Ascent Meditech’s orthopedics, pain and wound-care products are exported to 40 countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and its flagship Flamingo brand is available in more than 44 nations worldwide, according to an emailed statement from LeapFrog. Financial terms of LeapFrog’s investment weren’t disclosed.

LeapFrog, whose backers have included billionaire George Soros, has interests in health-care and financial-services businesses across 149 Asian and African markets. Last month, the firm invested in one of Nigeria’s largest pension-fund managers, ARM Pension Managers Ltd.

The private equity firm, which has operations in Johannesburg, Singapore and the U.K., touts its “profit with a purpose” strategy on its website. It said its companies reach 130 million people, most of them low-income consumers who are often accessing insurance, savings, pensions, credit and health care for the first time.

LeapFrog said in its statement that it will leverage its expertise in health care and emerging markets to support Ascent Meditech’s growth plans and to strengthen the Flamingo brand.

Rajiv Mistry, who founded Ascent Meditech in 1991 and had been the majority owner, will stay on as chief executive officer of the Mumbai-based company, according to the statement.

“We are delighted to partner with LeapFrog Investments, who share our vision of opening up access to quality and affordable health-care products and continuing to grow this market leading and trusted brand,” Mistry said in the statement. “Ascent Meditech will benefit greatly from LeapFrog’s extensive network, as the company enters its next phase of growth.”

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