The Kelly Group has acquired ICT skills development and training solutions specialist Torque IT for about R37,85-million.
The move is designed to strengthen the group's presence in the high-growth IT outsourcing and permanent placement sectors.
Torque IT provides high-level technical training services to blue chip corporates and the public sector on Cisco, Microsoft, VMware, Novell, Sun and other major systems through its wholly owned subsidiary Torque Technical Training.
Its other business, Torque Career Campus, was one of the first providers to be accredited by the Isett Seta and offers customised training services to school-leavers seeking employment in the ICT industry.
Torque IT offers end-to-end solutions to clients in 24 countries across the region. In addition, a recent partnership between Cisco and Torque IT has enabled the company to offer a specialised programme in India. Franchise operations in Kenya and Angola are operated under its Torque Africa division.
Kelly Group chief executive Grenville Wilson said the group had identified the ICT sector as a target market and the acquisition of Torque IT would support its growth objectives in this sector, among other things by providing it with a source of potential candidates that are honed by the Torque Career Campus through learnerships and/or internships. It would also complement a new ICT division created by the group`s flagship brand Kelly.
"The acquisition also brings with it a strong management team and, as Torque IT is 55% black-owned, will further enhance the Kelly Group`s already high BEE rating. In addition, there are key customer overlaps which offer synergistic opportunities," Wilson says.
Torque IT chief executive Mthunzi Mdwaba comments: "Torque IT is the biggest ICT skills factory in sub-Saharan Africa and we could not have asked for a better home than the Kelly Group, given the company's focus on human capital development.
"The marriage will greatly enhance our joint ability to unlock potential and promote skills development in the skills-starved ICT sector. ICT plays a crucial role in the smooth running of any business and we hope to use skills development in this sector as a tool to help drive transformation in our country."