Having recently announced the acquisition of a siginificant stake in IT company Puleng Technologies, AEEI continues on its acquisition plan to bolster its Technology division by acquiring 51% equity in Kalula Communications (Pty) Ltd, trading as Headset Solutions (Headsets).
Based in Somerset West, Headsets is the authorised distributor of premium branded electronic products, namely Plantronics and Konftel. The business focuses on audio communications equipment and software, which support VOIP environments, unified communications, mobile use, gaming and music, servicing both corporate and retailer markets.
Group Chief Executive Officer of AEEI, Mr Khalid Abdulla says, “AEEI is pleased to welcome Headsets to the Group. This synergistic acquisition further compliments our already substantial technology offering by increasing our market penetration and client reach and will be instrumental in assisting our technology division to achieve its objectives for substantial growth over the next few years”.
Mr Tony Brown, the Chief Executive Officer of Headset Solutions, is equally pleased with the deal remarking, “We look forward to the growth opportunities provided by the synergies between Headsets and AEEI. Together we will be able to leverage our relationships to further increase our customer base and drive Headsets to grow into the ‘Unified Communications Market’.”
The deal is another milestone for AEEI, as Headsets, with an estimated additional R60 million annual revenue to the Group. This will complement and grow AEEI’s technology division with additional capabilities, technical skills across the Group with its plans of innovation and world class support to AEEI’s associates, clients, as well as various multinational companies.
With these acquisitions, AEEI’s IT division alone is already expecting to double its annual revenue to R450 million for the year ending August 2017 as compared to R215 million for the 2016 financial year end.
This investment is set to significantly increase the AEEI division’s revenue and profits. AEEI’s IT division has shown strong growth year on year over the past 3-5 years.
It is anticipated that AEEI’s investment into Headsets will have a pay-back period of 3 to 4 years. This “payback” excludes the anticipated exponential capital appreciation expected from this investment.
Brown added, “Our partnership with AEEI is exciting because of their excellent market reputation, financial performance and track record, with a great understanding of our business. Being a member allows both Groups to further grow their respective customer base into the African Market where outsourced call centre operations are being established in countries, amongst other, Madagascar and Mauritius, from where they serve a growing number of European and American companies”.
The AEEI Group will continue its strategic focus to grow the value of its core operational investments and improve the value-add on strategic investments. Management remains focused on the implementation of its ‘Vision 2020 Vision’ strategy and is well on track to achieve its targets. AEEI has indicated that it will, as part of its Vision 2020 Vision strategy, separately list its IT division within the next 3 years.
Rory Lavelle, Vice President of sales in Europe and Africa for Plantronics, quoted that, “After nearly 3 decades of partnership, the future prospects for Headset Solutions have never looked brighter and we are very excited by the acquisition of our partner, Headsets, by such a progressive and successful Black Economic Empowerment company like AEEI”.
AEEI reported a sterling set of financial year end results to August 2016 with a 53% increase in operation profit and a 24% increase in NAV, making good on its promise to increase shareholder value and generate sustainable growth and profit margins.
Abdulla concludes, “We are excited about our fast growing plans to create shareholder value with our diversified technology products and services. This additional deal with Headsets is further testament of our ambition to realise the goals and objectives that we have set out in our Vision 2020 Vision strategy”.
The purchase consideration for the transaction was concluded partly in issuing shares in AEEI’s subsidiary and technology holding company – this again address to the sentiment that the Headsets shareholders believe in and are committed to this divisions growth and future plans which includes a separate listing.
As testament to its future-thinking approach and its ability to deliver, AEEI was recently recognised by Empowerdex in its annual benchmark of JSE Listed companies as the Most Empowered Company, the Most Empowered Management Control, and was also listed by the Financial Mail as a Top 10 Performer on the JSE for financial performance. AEEI is ranked amongst the Top 10 places for the IRAS highest SDTI score for governance as well.