On the Money – In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

* JSE-listed telecommunications equipment and electronics company Jasco has made an offer to buy another fellow listed company, communications business Spescom. Jasco CEO Martin Lotz says the combination of the two businesses will create a business with annual turnover of R1bn.
The transaction will be settled through the issue of 32.9m ordinary shares made up of one Jasco ordinary share for every 2.47 Spescom ordinary shares. “We will also pay a cash amount of 15c per Spescom share, which comes to R11.8m,” says Lotz.
With the flood of bandwidth coming to the African continent, Lotz says concluding the deal will give the merged company a significant opportunity in the telecoms sector.The acquisition will also give Jasco access to a telecoms network licence owned by Spescom.He says a deal with Spescom should increase the liquidity of Jasco’s shares. If all the shareholders and the relevant authorities approve the deal, Lotz will become the CEO of the merged business and Spescom CEO Jené Palmer will stay on to facilitate the conclusion of the sale. Jasco has received agreement from 58.8% of its shareholders and Spescom has approval from 40.1%. 

*In a bid to strengthen its own distribution business, London- and Johannesburg-listed IT group Datatec is making a play for local distribution business Comztek. Datatec says it has made a R97m offer to Comztek’s shareholders for 100% of the business. According to Datatec’s statement, part of the offer will be paid in cash and the rest in new Datatec shares.Datatec is hoping to integrate Comztek into its Westcon business. It increased its ownership of the local Westcon business from 55% to 74,9% in April last year after it sold its stake in empowerment business African Legend Indigo.However, it appears Comztek’s primary shareholder, Mustek, is not happy about the proposed deal. Datatec says it has received support for the deal from management and shareholders, except Mustek.Mustek owns 41,8% of Comztek.Mustek CEO David Kan says the company can’t comment on the proposed deal as it is subject to conditions. He says until the deal is unconditional he can’t say anything about it.  “They haven’t done due diligence on the business yet, so there may be other conditions. We just don’t know yet,” he says. 

* Zambia’s National Union of Communication Workers (NUCW) has said the breakdown of payments to the retrenched workers of Zamtel is what was agreed between the union and the Government. But NUCW branch officials in Ndola have challenged the NUCW executive to avail a copy of the actual agreement that they signed on behalf of the workers in view of the partial privatisation of the telecommunications firm. NUCW Secretary General Clement Kasonde said last week that the breakdown of payments that the retrenched workers were given was what was agreed between stakeholders before the retrenchment was implemented.