File picture: Philimon Bulawayo
File picture: Philimon Bulawayo
JOHANNESBURG - JSE-listed financial services group Ecsponent has announced that it has acquired a 49percent stake in Truth Digital Group, a digital marketing group, for an undisclosed amount.

Truth Digital Group is owned by entrepreneur and businessperson Shaka Sisulu, a grandson of struggle icon Walter Sisulu.

Ecsponent chief executive Terence Gregory said that the acquisition was in line with the group’s growth strategy.

Gregory described Truth Digital as a perfect fit for Ecsponent. “Truth Digital is a 100percent black-owned digital media group, with an African growth agenda, and under Sisulu’s leadership adds a team with a wealth of experience and a perfect fit for the group,” Gregory said.

Truth Digital was established as an investment vehicle through which Sisulu aimed to create the largest diverse and dynamic black-owned digital marketing group on the continent. Its subsidiaries include Plum, iKGB Media Information Service (iKGB), Return on Innovation Proprietary (Roi) and Retroviral.

Sisulu said he was looking forward to a long and rewarding relationship with Ecsponent. “Their confidence in Truth Digital Group and support brings me a step closer to realising my vision of creating the largest, diverse and dynamic black-owned digital marketing group on the African continent,” Sisulu said.

Ecsponent holds a range of listed and private equity investments that have a medium-to-long-term investment horizon.

The group helps investee companies to develop and profitably commercialise technology that has global applications and offers cost-effective market solutions.

The group has subsidiaries and footprints across South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland and Zambia. It creates wealth by investing in companies that offer a range of niche financial services in South Africa and Africa by offering innovative investment services, credit solutions and enterprise development initiatives that improve financial inclusion for SMEs.

Ecsponent has been on an acquisition drive to strengthen its footprint in the region and overseas.

In February, the group bought an additional stake in Frankfurt-listed financial technology company MyBucks.

Yesterday, the group said it had concluded a transaction to dispose its subsidiary, Roi, to iKGB Media as a going concern for a total consideration of R7.3million.

Gregory said that the Truth Digital investment tallied with the company’s commitment to source specialists in niche business areas outside of its core financial services expertise and investing in minority stakes in these businesses.

“Target companies are well managed, self-sufficient and provide a balance in the group’s short-term and long-term asset base,” Gregory said.

He said that the transaction supported Ecsponent's strategic vision and also consolidated the group’s exposure to the digital marketing sector, while providing attractive prospects in a rapidly expanding market.

Ecsponent's shares closed unchanged at 49c on the JSE yesterday.