DiData in R326.4m offer for Kenya ICT firm

Dimension Data has made an open market offer to purchase 100% of the issued share capital of Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)-listed, AccessKenya, for KES3.05 billion (R326.4m).

The IT services and solutions provider says its offer of KES14.00 (R1.50) per share is a premium of 42% when compared to the closing price (KES9.85) of AccessKenya on 3 May.

This is based on 218 million shares in issue, equivalent to KES3.052 billion

AccessKenya shareholders will also be entitled to receive the final dividend of KES0.30 per share proposed by the comany’s board in respect of the year ended 31 December 2012.

The AccessKenya Group was founded by brothers David and Jonathan Somen, and was one of the first ISPs to launch in Kenya in 2000, according to DiData.

The company, which was also the first ICT company to list on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, employs 340 staff, and provides predominantly connectivity-based data services to about 5,000 corporate customers in Kenya.

These customers range from large multinationals, government agencies, NGOs, as well as a large cross section from industries across the economy.

AccessKenya owns and operates a 400 kilometre Carrier Ethernet Fibre Optic Network in both Nairobi and Mombasa which connects over 500 commercial buildings.

The company also operates two wireless networks which further extends coverage to 10 other towns around Kenya.

In addition to offering a wholesale carrier services, AccessKenya also has a high-end consumer base.

AccessKenya’s IT services arm focuses on value-added IT services including IT support, offsite backup and Disaster Recovery, email and security services, as well as other managed IT services into the customer’s Local Area Network (LAN).

The company has built a reputation based on high bandwidth speeds and value for money, high levels of network reliability and excellent customer service. In 2012, the company’s turnover was KES1.9 billion with earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortisation of KES700 million.

In 2010, Dimension Data was acquired by the Japanese-based NTT Group, one of the largest global telecommunications operators in the world with annual revenues in excess of US$100 billion. Following the completion of the acquisition, Dimension Data was delisted from the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.

Dimension Data plc currently operates in Kenya through subsidiaries Dimension Data Kenya, Internet Solutions Kenya, and Plessey Kenya and intends to merge its Internet Solutions Kenya business into Access Kenya.

Derek Wilcocks, Dimension Data’s Middle East and Africa CEO, said: “The growth opportunities and liberal and progressive ICT regulatory framework within Kenya make this market highly attractive for Dimension Data to establish an even stronger presence.

The transaction is contingent on shareholder acceptance and various regulatory approvals.

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DiData in R326.4m offer for Kenya ICT firm