On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- South Africa’s technology services provider ConvergeNet has suffered a drop in profitability in the past year with delays in the awarding of government contracts compounding damage caused by the recession. Business in the government segment was slower than expected due to the general election and changes in the administration, the directors said, which delayed some projects. In the private sector, some customers had delayed or cancelled their technology investments outright.

- Bourse Africa, a unit of Financial Technologies, plans to set up an electronic exchange to trade African commodities futures by the second half of next year, Director of Strategy Adam Gross said. The Gaborone-based company is in talks with regulators in Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa and Zambia for approval to incorporate them into an Africa-wide trading forum.

- South Africa’s independent telecommunications provider Vox Telecom released its annual results this week. The company has recorded a 13% growth in revenues over the previous year to R2.1 billion. EBITDA was 11% higher at R201 million, and earnings per share climbed 45% to 5.49 cents. Operating profit was however down by 3.5%. Vox Orion remains the largest contributor to group revenues, although it showed little growth over the previous year.

- Listed investment company Sekunjalo will continue to target acquisitions in the ICT sector. CEO Khalid Abdulla says: “In the next months and year we will be quite active in the ICT space.” He explains that ICT is an important growth area for the company, and there are opportunities in the public and private sector locally and on the continent. Sekunjalo is also the black economic empowerment partner of global telecommunications giant British Telecom (BT), for its South African operations. The company has a 30% stake in BTSA.

- iBurst's listing on the JSE has been put on hold, because foreign investors want to rather invest in an “offshore” entity. The vehicle that iBurst SA and iBurst Africa were going to use to make their début on the JSE was S&J Land Holdings, which is listed on the JSE, although trade in its shares is suspended as it is a cash shell.