DIDATA OF SOUTH AFRICA BUY 51 PERCENT STAKE IN SAMEER'S ICL

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

South Africa-based Dimension Data (Didata), a global information technology solutions and services company, has acquired a 51 per cent stake in ICL East Africa, the leading provider of end-to-end IT systems and services in the region.

According to Didata, the acquisition of the controlling interest in ICL - for an undisclosed amount - also marks the change of name to Dimension Data Kenya, which will become the regional headquarters of Dimension Data's East African operations, which includes Dimension Data Tanzania and Dimension Data Uganda.

According to Andile Ngcaba, chairman of Dimension Data Africa, the partnership with ICL (EA) and entry into East Africa, gives the company a launch pad to the rest of Africa.

"With regional headquarters now established in the northern, southern, eastern and western regions of the continent, geographically we are now able to deliver our solutions and services more effectively and efficiently. The large population base and the predicted growth in terms of IT adoption for economic and social development of these regions, signals significant opportunities for us."

ICL (EA), a member of the Sameer Group, is one of the region's largest corporations, with interests in various business sectors and over 30 years' experience in Kenya's industrial and commercial development.

Naushad Merali, Sameer Group's executive chairman said, "The acquisition was made possible by the fact that Dimension Data and ICL (EA) were aligned in their IT services and solutions and in organisational structure.

"As the largest IT supplier in Kenya, partnering with a global organisation such as Dimension Data will combine global best practice with local expertise and knowledge to deliver unmatched services to our clients," he added.

ICL (EA), which has been in operation since 1930, has 60 employees in the region, and all will be retained by Dimension Data in their respective countries.

ICL (EA), has among its client base, Barclays Kenya, Celtel, Telkom Kenya, Standard Chartered Bank Ltd, Nestle Foods and Coca Cola East and Central Africa. It also has partnerships with leading IT companies such as Fujitsu-Siemens, Sun Sytems, IBM hardware, Cisco, 3Com, Oracle, Microsoft and Cisco.

The solutions offered by Dimension Data in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda include network integration, converged communications, operating environments and messaging, security and data centres and storage.

Kenya's Assistant Minister for Communications David Were, right, with Naushad Merali, Sameer Group executive chairman at the launch of Dimension Data East Africa last week.

The East African