UNISYS SELLS BEE STAKE

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Unisys has become the latest multinational to sell equity in its local operation to a black economic empowerment (BEE) company.

Unisys Africa announced that it had signed a letter of intent to sell a 30% stake to Cyberknowledge Systems Investments, a provider of technology consulting services.

The value of the deal has not been disclosed, but the group says the sale is subject to the completion of a definitive agreement, tentatively scheduled for late this month.

Once this is complete, “Unisys Africa will have complied with a key element of the black economic empowerment requirements as proposed in SA's ICT charter,” it says.

“Cyberknowledge Systems has an excellent team of experienced IT experts whose skills would strongly complement Unisys Africa's services and solutions,” says Unisys Africa MD Barry Holt.

“We expect that their knowledge, expertise and black empowerment credentials would play an important role in our transformation and growth in Africa,” he adds.

Unisys, a worldwide IT services and solutions company headquartered in the US, joins a growing list of multinational corporations that have either sold or earmarked BEE stakes in local operations.

Most recently, Sekunjalo Investments bought a 24% stake in XN Corporation Africa, a subsidiary of London-listed XN Checkout. Last month German-headquartered SAP said it had agreed in principle to sell 25% of SAP SA, although a suitable partner has yet to be found. Australian group Computershare recently sold 26% of its local arm to Black Management Forum Investment Company.

The empowerment moves come as the ICT empowerment charter steering committee prepares to meet sub-sector representatives to finalise the industry's charter. The final charter is now expected to be in place by the middle of this year.  

http://www.itweb.co.za/sections/financial/2005/0504041132.asp
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