First Multinational Tier One Vendor to Conclude:
Empowerment deal at equity level Enterprise development deal with young entrepreneurs.
Deal show commitment to South Africa by Europe-based multinational vendor.

Fujitsu Siemens Computers (Holding) B.V. has announced the successful conclusion of the sale of 25% plus one share in Fujitsu Siemens Computers (Pty) Ltd to the Thuthukani Investment Consortium (Pty) Ltd. This consortium combines the resources of Thuthukani Information Technology Services (Pty) Ltd and Amava Holdings (Pty) Ltd with an additional broad-based black economic empowerment trust.

This transaction is unique in nature in that this is the first multinational tier one IT vendor to have sold equity in its local operation to an SME empowerment group. The Thuthukani Investment Consortium set up a special purpose vehicle to facilitate the acquisition. Thuthukani and Amava together contributed unencumbered cash.

Idris Suleman, Managing Director of Fujitsu Siemens Computers said that the empowerment transaction began when his predecessor, Mark Wilson (now Vice President for Middle East and Africa) managed to convince the board of directors of the need to engage with an empowerment grouping, about two-and-a-half years ago.

“The board gave its approval, but tasked us with finding the right partner, one who would grow with us,” says Suleman. “In addition, the board required that we do not engage in any form of “window-dressing”, but that we conclude a deal that will be meaningful for the company and the broader socio-political environment of the country.”

Fujitsu Siemens Computers appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance (PwC) as their lead adviser who was responsible for identifying appropriate BEE parties, advising on a sustainable and value adding transaction structure and negotiating the transaction.  Their appointment also ensured strict adherence to governance principles and to give a level of comfort and independence to the board of the Holding company.

Bernd Bischoff, President and CEO, Fujitsu Siemens BV said: “The South African and African markets are extremely important to our overall business strategy. We take our sense of responsibility very seriously and we wish to have a positive influence on every aspect of the business environments in which we operate.

Through engaging in a transaction of this nature, I believe that we are making a positive contribution to South African society, particularly as this ensures that the fruits of our endeavours will be shared across a broader base of the economic spectrum”

After meeting with- and reviewing- several potential suitors, and conducting thorough due diligence exercises on all prospects, PwC introduced the Thuthukani Investment Consortium, with the belief that they offered the best prospects in terms of cultural and value alignment. It was also felt that the strong-entrepreneurial nature of the members of the consortium and the direct involvement of the principals in the companies, matched the style and business approach of Fujitsu Siemens Computers.

Fannie Mahlangu, Managing Director of Thuthukani Information Technology
Services says, “We were presented with a unique opportunity to invest. What we found appealing about Fujitsu Siemens Computers, was that the company has tremendous potential for growth and is complementary to our business. Additionally, there was a strong cultural and philosophical match between us.

”Puven Ramasamy, Group CEO of  Amava Holdings says: “With this transaction, we continue to emphasise our focus on the IT sector.We have been very successful in the past in transactions within this sector and Fujitsu Siemens Computers, with their portfolio of hardware and services will complement several of our investments.” Fannie Mahlangu will be appointed to the Board of Directors of Fujitsu Siemens Computers (Pty) Ltd. Idris Suleman says that Fujitsu Siemens Computers was adamant in not wishing to take on “the usual suspects” in its empowerment transaction. “It was critical for us to find a partner whose values were in alignment with ours, and who could take us to higher levels of business – one with the hunger and drive to grow our business parallel to theirs.

In the Thuthukani Investment Consortium, we have found a group of emerging entrepreneurs who epitomise all that is good about empowerment.”

“Having had the opportunity to learn more about both Thuthukani and Amava, I am confident that we have made an excellent choice and that we will complement one another’s business and grow together into the future,” concludes Suleman

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