Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Dimension Data has bought 51% of ICL East Africa, an information technology company active in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The deal is being used by Didata to set up offices in those three countries, with the office in Kenya to serve as its regional headquarters. Didata did not disclose how much it is paying for its stake in ICL East Africa, which is part of Kenya's Sameer Group, a diversified industrial and commercial operator.

ICL East Africa has more than 60 employees, and all of them will transfer to Didata's payroll. It resells hardware and software from suppliers including Fujitsu-Siemens, Sun, IBM, Cisco, Oracle and Microsoft to clients such as Barclays Kenya, Telkom Kenya, Standard Chartered Bank, Coca-Cola, Nestlé Foods and cellular operator Celtel.

For the year to September last year, Didata earned $482m and a profit of $42,5m from its African operations, out of a total global revenue of $2,7bn and a profit of $61,6m. The company enjoys a higher profit margin in Africa because it is supplying more higher-margin services rather than selling low-margin equipment.

Didata Africa chairman Andile Ngcaba said: "With regional headquarters now established in the northern, southern, eastern and western areas of the continent, we are able to deliver our services more efficiently to many more countries."

The large population bases and the predicted growth of information technology to help the economic and social development of those regions presented significant opportunities for the company, he said.

Sameer chairman Naushad Merali said that the Sameer Group was the largest IT supplier in Kenya, and its partnership with Didata would combine global best practices with local expertise and knowledge to offer customers a service that could not be matched by any other player.

Business Day