Could Didata refloat on the stock market? - TechCentral

Could Didata refloat on the stock market?

Jeremy Ord

Although there has been “no active discussion” about it, the possibility of SA-headquartered IT services giant Dimension Data relisting on the stock market is not entirely out of the question, the group’s chairman, Jeremy Ord, has revealed in an interview with TechCentral.

Ord says he can’t say at this stage if there are any advantages to relisting on the stock market as these discussions have not taken place. However, he says a looming change in CEOs at Didata parent Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) Corp — with chief executive Satoshi Miura, 68, expected to move into the chairman role soon — may spark a change in approach. Of course, NTT may also elect simply to continue to keep Didata as a wholly owned and privately held asset.

NTT acquired Didata in 2010 in a blockbuster R24,4bn acquisition and delisted the SA-headquartered IT company from the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. Didata had its primary listing in London and a secondary listing in SA. Before delisting, it was by far the largest IT company on the local bourse.

Ord emphasises that there have been absolutely no formal discussions about relisting the group but he says Didata is keen to remain close to financial analysts. To this end, it has invited both industry and financial analysts to its upcoming “Perspectives” conference in London.

“As a company that is growing and making acquisitions and expanding globally, it’s important we stay in touch with the financial industry,” Ord says. “It gives us a good yardstick to measure ourselves.”

On the possibility of relisting, Ord says: “Who knows what will happen in future? Maybe Dimension Data would reemerge somewhere.”

He says that with NTT’s support, the group has been able to grow and make acquisitions that would have been difficult as a listed company. He says not being listed and without the constant need to meet analysts’ expectations, Didata is perhaps in a better position to buy start-up and even promising but loss-making companies.

Ord adds that NTT has been “very supportive” of the Dimension Data management team since the acquisition and has taken a hands-off approach. However, the two companies work closely together to identify and work on business opportunities worldwide.  — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media

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