Didata boosts European profile

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Johannesburg - Dimension Data (Didata) had boosted its presence in Europe by acquiring certain subsidiaries of NextiraOne, a leading global communications services and business solutions provider, Didata said yesterday.

The acquisition is intended to help Didata, previously a JSE-listed firm, reach its goal of doubling revenue to $12 billion (R134bn at current exchange rates) over the next five years.

Didata, a multinational information and communication technology services and solutions provider, was listed on the JSE for 23 years until 2010, when it was bought by Japanese giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation.

The deal facilitates access to new market segments and growth in the client base to include more than 43 000 NextiraOne clients in Europe. It also adds 1 850 skilled employees to the Didata workforce.

Didata has not disclosed the value of the acquisition.

The transaction improved Didata’s ability to support South African business clients that were looking to expand into the global market, Derek Wilcocks, the chief executive for Didata Middle East and Africa, said yesterday.

“We needed to add one large acquisition in Europe to position [Didata] as a bigger player.

“We would still look to expand significantly in North America,” Wilcocks said.

The group was also seeking to acquire companies with specialised capability in cloud computing and information security management.

“We have aspirations to become a player in the data centre space. We are buying to create a single integrated business model,” he added.

Rakesh Kumar, the research vice-president at Gartner, forecast that the importance, role and functionality of data centres would change over the next five years, leaving many organisations unclear about how to plan their future data centre architectures.

“A surge in demand for storage and back-up systems and new roles, such as data engineers, will multiply. This increasing but non-linear capacity is a key force that must be considered in all data centre strategies,” Kumar said in a report published last November.

Brett Dawson, Didata’s chief executive, said in a statement: “We tripled our business in the last 10 years and now we’re looking to double it through organic growth and strategic acquisitions.”

Dawson said the strategy was to take the “combined portfolios” of NextiraOne and Didata to the small and mid-size business market in the commercial, public sector and enterprise segments.

NextiraOne’s unified communications and collaboration business provided Didata with the ability to manage communications infrastructure across multiple platforms, he added.

The transaction would happen in two parts. The acquisition of employees in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and the UK would be concluded first. Next year Didata would acquire NextiraOne’s operations in France and Italy, subject to the achievement of performance conditions.

Andrew Coulsen, the chief executive of Didata in Europe, said the transaction increased the group’s footprint in Europe to 16 countries from 10. He would retain his role and would lead the integration of Didata Europe with NextiraOne’s European subsidiaries. - Business Report


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