On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- South African information technology group Datatec last Monday announced that it has acquired United States group Solution Technology for a maximum consideration of USD15,7-million.The $15,7-million consideration for the acquisition will be made up of $2,7-million relating to a profit warranty for the year to December 31 2004 and $13-million to be paid in cash on completion.The profit warranty consideration, of a maximum of $2,7-million, will be payable on achievement of profit before interest and tax for the year ending December 31 2004 of $4-million, and will be settled -- at Datatec's option -- in cash or through the issue of new Datatec ordinary shares.Datatec has received South African Reserve Bank approval for the acquisition.

- According to Nigerian mobile operator M-tel a local bank had signified its intention to increase its funding of the company to N2 billion to enable the organisation expand its services.

- The final results for Botswana Telecommunications Corporation for the year ended March 2004 showed an improved position for the corporation with its return to profitability for the first time in the last three financial years where it had posted negative earnings. The company posted bottom-line earnings of P90.3m on the back of a flat revenue base of P621m and a 3.9% rise in operating costs. Restructuring costs were provided for in 2003, the charge for 2004 of P47m was therefore not as substantial. Total assets of P1.3bn, are up 28% on the year. Debt as a percentage of equity is currently 53% down 7 percentage points on the year. Cash flows continue to remain positive with net cash flow from operations of P124m. The corporation incurred P94.2m as an investment to expand operations.

-I-Fusion, which is being rebranded as Bidvest Network Solutions (Bidnet), has become profitable for the first time since being acquired by Bidvest. Bidvest first bought 60% of I-Fusion in mid-2000, increasing its stake in subsequent deals to make it a wholly owned subsidiary.

In the year to end-June, Bidnet, a wide area network solutions provider, achieved what Bidvest CEO Brian Joffe refers to as a small after-tax profit.

- Mobile Systems International last week sold 3.8 million shares of Vodafone Egypt Telecommunications equivalent to 1.6% of VE's total outstanding shares to a group of Saudi investors, thereby reducing MSI ownership to approximately 3%. The deal was executed at LE36.05/share, with a value pertaining to LE140.6 million.

- Mustek says a slump in earnings for the year to 30 June is unlikely to affect its ability to pay a dividend. The computer manufacturer says headline earnings per share for the period will be at least 30% lower than those of the previous year.