Westcon Africa Middle East has acquired a majority stake in the combined businesses of JET Distribution and the Sparnoon-Dynatech Group, a move that will grow revenues of Westcon’s South African and African operations from the current R500-million to over R1,2-billion.
Jacques Malherbe, Westcon SA’s CEO, says that the acquisitions will see Westcon expand its footprint beyond South Africa into Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, Botswana and Kenya, with warehousing and distribution facilities in Dubai and the UK.
Westcon can confirm that the management teams of the businesses acquired will remain employed and active in this Westcon Africa business, thereby retaining the invaluable market knowledge and experience they have accumulated over the last 15 years.
“This acquisition will reaffirm our position as the largest distributor of Cisco products in Sub-Saharan Africa, giving us an estimated 65% share of the distribution market,” says Malherbe.
“It will also complement the product range we currently market in Africa to now include HP, Dell, Symantec, Novell, Epson and TallyGenicom equipment. At the same time, it will give us the opportunity to take more of our South African partners into the African market.”
Malherbe says the acquisitions will consolidate the company’s industry leading position in the networking, security and convergence markets across Africa.
“They will also position us as the only global ICT distributor operating on the African continent with warehousing and logistics support in Africa, Europe, and Dubai. This gives us the added advantage of having a broader and more immediate availability of stock than that offered by our competitors. We will also boast 68 permanent staff on the ground in Africa outside of South Africa.
“We now have direct access to approximately $205-million worth of stock and can deliver products to the reseller community or their clients faster than it takes the vendor to manufacture and deliver. This enables us to achieve turnaround of product that is unmatched in Africa,” says Malherbe.
He adds that the merger will enhance Westcon’s ability to roll out programmes such as OneVoice, OneDefence and ConvergencePoint across the rest of the continent, creating access to key products and solutions.
Commenting on the partnership with Westcon, Paul Moser, CEO of Sparnoon-Dynatech UK Ltd, says: “This opens up a new era of growth and opportunity for us. In addition to technical resources, we are now able to increase both our coverage and product sets.”
John Tierney, MD of JET Distribution, points out that the two companies have the presence on the ground. “With the backing of Westcon, we now have the opportunity to grow our presence.”
Malherbe points out that Africa is a burgeoning market where ICT infrastructure is concerned.
“A small installed base means there is significant growth rate potential on the continent,” he says. “This is supported by a recent African Development Bank report, which expects economic growth on the continent to reach nearly 6% in 2007, the highest in 20 years.
"These latest acquisitions mean we are in an ideal position to serve this growing market," he concludes.