Bytes Technology Group, owned by JSE-listed Altron Group, is growing its presence in Africa with an announcement yesterday that it is to buy the entire business of technology firm Unisys Africa from Unisys Corporation and CyberKnowledge Systems Investments.
The companies did not disclose the value of the deal.
"Unisys Africa’s longstanding relationship with public sector agencies will enhance the efforts of Bytes’ newly established government solutions division and will broaden Bytes’ client scope," said Rob Abraham, the CEO of Bytes Technology Group.
"Its footprint will also assist our strategy of expansion into Africa," he said.
Unisys Africa provides information technology (IT) services and technology to customers in sub-Saharan Africa and has a core South African client base in both the public and private sectors.
It also designs, supports and maintains IT infrastructure, including desktops, servers, storage, mobile systems and cheque-processing equipment.
Its clients are in the telecommunications, energy, financial and other commercial industries and in government agencies. Unisys has done business in countries such as Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria.
Mr Abraham said Unisys Africa’s operations represented a "good fit" with Bytes and, in many instances, the offerings provided by Unisys Africa would be complementary to those of Bytes.
The transaction is subject to competition authority approval in SA, Botswana and Namibia.
Mr Abraham said Unisys Africa would initially continue to operate as a stand-alone entity. Some of its operations would later be incorporated into complementary Bytes operations — Bytes Systems Integration, Bytes Managed Solutions and Bytes Connect.
Bytes bought Security Partnerships and HealthOne for R96m last year. Security Partnerships, a provider of IT security and related services to corporate and public sector organisations, has helped Bytes diversify its UK business.
"We will continue to look for other suitable acquisitions to fuel our profitable revenue streams," said Mr Abraham.
Bytes operates in markets that continue to invest in IT and expects an increase in IT spend to continue, especially in the financial and retail sectors.