JOHANNESBURG  - AYO Technology Solutions’ share price surged 20 percent on Friday as the group’s recently announced deal with energy giant Sasol continued to add gloss to it. 

AYO’s stock ended the trading week at R36, valuing the group north of R12 billion. 

The company, a spin-off of African Empowerment Equity Investments, last week said it had signed a multi-year information and communication technology services contract with Sasol. It would provide and manage Sasol’s entire global technology network, communications and security services. The contract is rumoured to be in excess of R2bn. 

The company said the deal “is expected to have a material impact on the revenue and earnings of AYO Technology”. 

Kevin Hardy, the chief executive of AYO, said the company was well positioned to take significant market share and to challenge and disrupt the South African ICT landscape. “AYO is looking to disrupt in everything it does and to challenge the status quo in the industry” said Hardy. 

“The group has attracted some very exciting acquisition propositions, which will further enhance AYO’s already substantial offering and will underscore our positioning as a truly transformed market leader and innovator.” The group’s “Go to” strategy aims to capture between 5 and 8 percent of the vast South African ICT market by 2022. 

The listing of AYO in December was the largest ever black empowerment listing of an information and technology group in South Africa. 

Capital raised last year from initial public offerings (IPOs) by companies on the JSE surged 178 percent in dollar terms compared to 2016, driven in the main by the listings of Steinhoff Africa Retail (STAR), African Rainbow Capital Investments (ARCI) and by AYO Technology. 

STAR’s IPO raised $1.2bn (R14.96bn), while ARCI fetched $332 million and AYO $328m. Strategic alliance AYO currently services customers in southern and northern Africa, Europe and Mauritius, among others. 

Its strategic alliance with British Telecommunications South Africa provides access to global technology trends as well as the global market. 

The company also holds key value-added reseller or supplier agreements with principals such as Nokia, Siemens Networks South Africa, Plantronics, InterSystems Corporation, Cisco Systems, Microsoft Corporation, IBM and Riverbed Technology. 

The company earlier this month reported encouraging interim results for the six months ended February. AYO’s revenue for the period increased 49 percent from R234m to R349m. Operating profit increased by 55 percent from R29m to R45m, while profit before tax surged 173 percent from R30m to R82m.

-BUSINESS REPORT