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Jasco adds to fire solutions with R52,3m acquisition

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Jasco Electronics Holdings has announced the acquisition of 65,4% of Cross Fire Management Proprietary Limited (Cross Fire) for a maximum aggregate purchase price of R52,3-million.
Cross Fire was established in 1990 in Johannesburg and specialises in the design, supply, fabrication, installation, servicing and maintenance of a range of fire protection systems for various industries and protected risk specifications.
The acquisition will improve Jasco’s Fire Solutions’ offering in the blue-chip corporate market by making it one of the top three suppliers of fire detection, suppression and protection solutions in various industries, including construction, retail, logistics and financial services. Jasco’s differentiation in the market will be further enhanced with the addition of Cross Fire’s specialised system design and consulting capabilities to Jasco’s existing fabrication and deployment abilities.
Commenting on the transaction, Jasco CEO Pete da Silva says: “This acquisition fulfils our strategy of moving up the value chain towards a higher-margin professional service and consulting offering in our Fire business. As we have restructured the group, reduced gearing to within our internal range of less than 50% and are improving operating performance, we are executing our strategic plan of measured acquisitions that either bulk up existing business units or fill gaps in our portfolio to supplement organic growth.
“This also meets our goal of continuing to align our portfolio of businesses and related products and services offerings to serve our blue-chip customer base in niche markets.”
Cross Fire’s operations cover Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Accra (Ghana). Its customer base spans the construction, retail, logistics and financial services industries. It has a track record of double-digit revenue growth with a consistent operating margin above 9%.
The acquisition will provide the following benefits:
• Adding fire system design and consulting capabilities, which will complement the existing Jasco Fire Solutions portfolio
• Bulking up Jasco Fire Solutions’ offering from the current R30 million per annum revenue to in excess of R200-million, which meets Jasco’s minimum R150 million strategic revenue threshold for each business unit
• Unlock synergies by having both design and fabrication in-house capabilities. This is anticipated to improve margins in the Fire business
• Further opportunity to cross-sell the rest of the Jasco portfolio to the existing blue-chip customer base
• Access to an experienced and capable management team within the fire detection, suppression and protection solutions market
• Access to West Africa, specifically Ghana, through Cross Fire’s four years’ regional presence
The current management team and founder will stay in place, with retention agreements for a minimum of two years.
The purchase price will be settled with a R20 million initial payment and two additional maximum payments of just over R16-million over the next year, based on financial performance.
The finalisation of the acquisition is dependent on a number of conditions, such as Competition Commission approval. All the suspensive conditions must be met by no later than 31 May 2017 for the transaction to proceed.