Acorn, Kenya

Funding the construction of environmentally-friendly accommodation for 5,000 students in Nairobi.

Total project investment


Kenya currently faces a chronic shortage of student accommodation as university enrolment in Kenya has grown from 27,000 students in 1990 to around 550,000 students today whilst there are less than 40,000 beds available in the universities, creating a huge deficit.

Constraints in the local capital market limits avenues for the financing of infrastructure projects and investment alternatives for local institutional investors.


The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), anchored the KES 4.3b 5-year issue as the largest single investor in the ‘restricted public offer’ provided by GuarantCo.

Partial credit guarantee issued to Acorn Holdings covers 50 percent of principal and interest due under their KES 5b note programme. The resulting B1 rating by Moody’s is above that of the sovereign and enhanced demand from investors.

Listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and London Stock Exchange in January 2020.


Construction of up to 6 green-certified student properties developed by Acorn, creating clean, safe, accessible and affordable accommodation for 5,000 students in Nairobi.

The note programme is the first ever corporate bond to achieve green certification in Kenya, which ensures the programme genuinely contributes to reducing carbon emissions.

Develops capacity in the local capital market by introducing several firsts to the Kenyan capital market including the first deferred draw-down structure for a listed note programme in the market.

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