JSE-listed technology company Altron said it had resolved to demerge and separately list its UK business, Bytes UK, to unlock value for shareholders. Bytes UK will be listed in the UK, with a secondary listing on the JSE. While Altron will remain listed on the JSE, it plans to demerge from its remaining investment in the UK.
Mike Leeming, Altron Board Chairperson, said the Board’s decision to separately list Bytes UK was made following a review of the new financial year strategy. “The Board assessed each of the business units within Altron to identify opportunities which have the potential to unlock further value for shareholders and streamline operations. The Board then concluded that the true value of Bytes UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of Altron, is not reflected in the Company’s share price. Through the demerger and separate listing of Bytes UK, we are looking to optimise the business and unlock additional value for shareholders.”
Altron Group Chief Executive, Mteto Nyati, said that through the One Altron strategy the Group had streamlined, focusing on its core capabilities of technology services and solutions by disposing non-core assets, rationalising operations and making high-growth acquisitions, which resulted in consistent double-digit EBITDA growth over the last three years. “We achieved a total shareholder return of 26% per annum, and the return on capital employed increased from 6.3% to 20.8% over the same period.”
“We are now positioned to be a leading IT services company on the African continent following the successful execution of the strategy,” said Nyati.
“The potential demerger of Bytes UK marks a new era for Altron, which will now be focused in Africa, serving our more than 20,000 customers located on the continent. Any future geographic expansion will be from this solid African base.”
Nyati concluded “the Group will continue to focus on its chosen growth areas of cloud, data analytics, internet of things and security, while our recent acquisition of Ubusha and Altron Karabina will strengthen our capabilities in security, cloud service and data analytics.”
The process is likely to take between nine to 12 months, depending on capital market conditions. If financial markets have not corrected by then, Altron may decide to hold off on Bytes UK’s demerger and its separate listing.