Hitachi Data Systems has announced its intention to acquire Shoden Data Systems, which provides data centre technology solutions in South Africa and across sub-Saharan Africa.

The acquisition is subject to approval from the South African Competition Commission and other relevant competition authorities in the African countries in which Hitachi Data Systems and Shoden conduct operations.

Hitachi Data Systems has enjoyed a successful 11-year partnership with Shoden, and Shoden’s growth over that time period has enabled it to capture a significant share of the rapidly growing South African enterprise data storage market.

Headquartered in Johannesburg, Shoden has also established subsidiaries in the UK and in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as part of its continued expansion in sub-Saharan Africa.

The proposed acquisition by Hitachi Data Systems will form a key element of the company’s growth strategy throughout Africa.

According to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), seven of the top 10 fastest growing economies from 2011 to 2015 will be in Africa. The addition of Shoden will enable Hitachi Data Systems to better serve its growing customer base throughout the region by continuing to help customers reduce costs, carry out business innovation initiatives, improve service levels and deploy new applications and technologies more quickly and efficiently.

Shoden designs, provisions, deploys and supports products and technologies that simplify and optimize data centre environments to many enterprise customers in the region, including major banks, telecommunication companies and retail companies.

In addition, Shoden has embraced broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE), in particular through its relationship with Tactical Software Systems (TSS), an IT company that provides business solutions for commercial and public enterprises in South Africa. Hitachi Data Systems intends to continue this relationship with TSS and is committed to building on the company’s adoption of the B-BBEE framework should the competition authorities approve the proposed acquisition.

“Our proposed acquisition of Shoden is the natural next step in a relationship that has blossomed throughout the years,” says Niels Svenningsen, senior vice-president and GM of Hitachi Data Systems EMEA. “Shoden has achieved great success and leadership in South Africa, creating a strong customer base and building a skilled and motivated team. We share the same values and commitment to excellence and innovation. Together, as a united company, we are committed to continuing the outstanding support given to all of our customers and to continue to grow across Africa.”

Marc Trevenen, MD of Shoden Data Systems, adds: “We are very excited about the prospect of joining the Hitachi Data Systems family. We are proud of the proven expertise, reputation and local knowledge that we have developed over the past 11 years. The strength of Hitachi Data Systems solutions has been an integral part of this journey. Joining forces with Hitachi Data Systems would be a win-win situation for our employees, our partners and our customers, and will enable our organisation to continue to develop and prosper.”