HDS wants Africa stake

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Hitachi Data Systems' proposed purchase of Shoden is a “natural next step”, says Niels Svenningsen, senior VP and GM of Hitachi Data Systems in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Japanese-based Hitachi Data Systems is buying South African firm Shoden Data Systems in a bid to boost its presence on the continent.

New York- and Tokyo-listed Hitachi yesterday said it was buying Shoden through its wholly-owned HDS subsidiary for an undisclosed amount. Shoden, HDS' only representation in SA, has partnered with the Japanese firm since its inception 11 years ago.

Hitachi says in a statement that the proposed acquisition “will form a key element of the company's growth strategy throughout Africa”. Shoden provides data centre technology solutions in SA and across sub-Saharan Africa.

Tony Reid, CTO of HDS in the UK, Ireland and sub-Saharan Africa, says buying Shoden will give HDS the footprint it needs in the region. He says Shoden was already expanding into Africa and this drive will continue.

Shoden, which has about 140 staff members, is based in Johannesburg and has subsidiaries in the UK, as well as in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Reid says HDS wants to tap into Africa's growth potential. According to data from the International Monetary Fund, seven of the top 10 fastest growing economies from 2011 to 2015 will be in Africa.