Altron has effectively increased its shareholding in subsidiary Bytes through a R669,2m cash deal in terms of which Bytes South Africa has acquired 27% of its equity held by two empowerment partners.
The JSE-listed technology holding company controlled by the Venter family said on Friday that it had acquired the shares from Kagiso Strategic Investments (indirectly owned by Kagiso Tiso Holdings) and Venopt.
In 2004, Kagiso and Venopt bought a 27% stake in Bytes South Africa, with a right to dispose of their holdings at a later date. The acquisition of their stake by Bytes will become effective at the end of June.
In terms of the 2004 shareholders’ agreement, Bytes was granted the right to acquire the sellers’ equity interest in Bytes South Africa at a value to be agreed on by the parties.
Following Altron’s decision to buy out minorities in another of its subsidiaries, Altech, last year, and to form a new telecommunications, multimedia and IT division, the group engaged in a review of all of its black empowerment structures.
“Altron is currently rated as a level two contributor under the recently promulgated ICT charter codes. Kagiso Strategic Investments, which has been a valuable and strategic equity partner of Bytes since 2004, has now determined, in consultation with Altron, that from a timing perspective, it is opportune for it to realise the value of its investment in Bytes South Africa,” the group said.
It said it will pay for the acquisition using cash proceeds from the sale of various noncore assets in the past year, including US$55m raised from the sale of Altech’s stake in Liquid Telecom, a pan-African fibre network operator.
The deal is subject to relevant board approvals, including those of Altron and Bytes. — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media