Mteto Nyathi, Altron. Photo: Supplied
JSE-Listed information and communication technology (ICT) company Allied Electronics (Altron) said yesterday it planned to dispose of its subsidiary, Crabtree Electrical Accessories, to Germany’s Siemens for an undisclosed amount. The company said the transaction was subject to approval by the Competition Commission.

“The disposal of Crabtree is part of the implementation of Altron’s business strategy to focus on its information technology and telecommunications business and exit its manufacturing operations,” the group said.

Crabtree is owned by Altron subsidiary Powertech. Altron said Crabtree produced and distributed low-voltage components for the construction market, including light switches, power outlets, cable routing systems and adapters.

It is not the first time that Altron has sold a business housed under Powertech. In November 2015, Altron announced it was selling Powertech’s systems engineering business, PTSI, to Capital Works for R140million. The company said PTSI was no longer a core asset for Altron.

In June last year, Powertech disposed of 75percent of its equity interest in Aberdare Cables.  Aberdare International disposed of 100percent of its equity interest in Aberdare Europe. These operations formed part of the Powertech group, which had been disclosed as a discontinued operation.

Altron has been going through changes recently. In April, Altron announced a restructuring of its executive committee in an effort to create a leaner group structure aligned with its ICT ambitions. The restructured executive will be headed by chief executive Mteto Nyati and will include board members chief financial officer Alex Smith and chief operating officer Andrew Holden.

Commenting on the changes in the group, Nyati said: “Our priorities are to aggressively drive cost-efficiencies; recruit, develop and retain top talent; build a trusted ICT brand; and accelerate growth. The new structure reflects these priorities, while setting the tone across the group on cost focus.”

The group made a number of positions redundant in the restructuring process, including the executives for corporate finance, strategy and technology, and corporate affairs, as well as the operations executive for telecoms, multimedia and electronics, and the operations executive for technology.

Presenting the group’s results for the year to the end of February, Nyati said Altron was optimistic about the year ahead, because new strategies would be implemented, including bringing in a new strategic shareholder, Value Capital Partners.

He said the group was expecting a capital injection of R400m. Altron shares declined 1.1percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R11.67.