CARTRACK chief executive Zak Calisto. African News Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG - Cartrack founder and chief executive Zak Calisto has bought 68.2percent of the stolen-vehicle recovery-and-tracking products group for R2.7billion to take his holding of the company to 68.45percent.

Calisto bought the stake through his investment company Karoo in February, triggering a mandatory offer yesterday of R13.44 per Cartrack share.

He also offered to buy out the minority shareholders.

Although Cartrack shares fell more than 3percent on the JSE in early trade yesterday, the offer price was still appreciably lower than the R18.60 that the shares traded at.

Cartrack said it had obtained the competition authority’s approval for the transaction.

It added that it had also appointed an independent board and expert to advise the company on the fairness of the offer.

However, some of the minority shareholders, including Coronation Asset Management, Gobi Capital and Georgem Holdings have said that they would not accept the offer.

“No Cartrack shareholder has given any undertaking to accept the offer,” the company said in a statement.

Cartrack is a strong performer among listed companies that are generally reporting low turnover, and earnings growth.

In May, the group reported a 16.3percent lift in profits to R361million for the year to end-February.

Total revenue increased 28percent to R1.7billion on the back of robust growth to 960798 subscribers.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation grew 45percent from 49percent the prior year, while cash generated from operating activities increased 16percent to R544m.

Net subscriber additions rose 39percent to 209418.

Cartrack’s subscription revenue at 90percent (88percent) of total revenue, resulted in an increase in subscription revenue by 30percent to R1.5bn.

Calisto said at the time that the group had expected more double-digit growth in the new financial year, based on the increase in subscriptions already on the books.

But he added that the firm intended to remain “vigilant and prudent” due to the tough local economy, where the group derives most of its revenue.

The results marked the sixth consecutive year of double-digit revenue and subscriber growth.

This week, the company also announced that it had passed the 1million subscriber mark, following its expansion into Europe and Asia Pacific to grow its footprint to beyond 24 countries.

The group said its research and development centre in Singapore was now delivering its next-generation platforms, and that it was focused on expanding its contribution to smart transportation and the internet of things.

Cartrack closed 2.34percent lower on the JSE yesterday at R18.75.

BUSINESS REPORT