Al­tron gets ready to sell Crab­tree to Siemens

Part of strat­egy to fo­cus on IT

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - Sandile Mchunu

JSE-LISTED in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy (ICT) com­pany Al­lied Elec­tron­ics (Al­tron) said yes­ter­day it planned to dis­pose of its sub­sidiary, Crab­tree Elec­tri­cal Ac­ces­sories, to Ger­many’s Siemens for an undis­closed amount.

The com­pany said the trans­ac­tion was sub­ject to ap­proval by the Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion.

“The dis­posal of Crab­tree is part of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Al­tron’s busi­ness strat­egy to fo­cus on its in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions busi­ness and exit its man­u­fac­tur­ing operations,” the group said.

Crab­tree is owned by Al­tron sub­sidiary Pow­ertech.

Al­tron said Crab­tree pro­duced and dis­trib­uted low-volt­age com­po­nents for the con­struc­tion mar­ket, in­clud­ing light switches, power out­lets, ca­ble rout­ing sys­tems and adapters.

It is not the first time that Al­tron has sold a busi­ness housed un­der Pow­ertech.

In Novem­ber 2015, Al­tron an­nounced it was sell­ing Pow­ertech’s sys­tems en­gi­neer­ing busi­ness, PTSI, to Cap­i­tal Works for R140 mil­lion. The com­pany said PTSI was no longer a core as­set for Al­tron.

In June last year, Pow­ertech dis­posed of 75 per­cent of its eq­uity in­ter­est in Aber­dare Ca­bles.

Aber­dare In­ter­na­tional dis­posed of 100 per­cent of its eq­uity in­ter­est in Aber­dare Europe. These operations formed part of the Pow­ertech group, which had been dis­closed as a dis­con­tin­ued op­er­a­tion.

Al­tron has been go­ing through changes re­cently. In April, Al­tron an­nounced a re­struc­tur­ing of its ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee in an ef­fort to cre­ate a leaner group struc­ture aligned with its ICT am­bi­tions.

The re­struc­tured ex­ec­u­tive will be headed by chief ex­ec­u­tive Mteto Ny­ati and will in­clude board mem­bers chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Alex Smith and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer An­drew Holden.

Com­ment­ing on the changes in the group, Ny­ati said: “Our pri­or­i­ties are to ag­gres­sively drive cost-ef­fi­cien­cies; re­cruit, de­velop and re­tain top tal­ent; build a trusted ICT brand; and ac­cel­er­ate growth. The new struc­ture re­flects these pri­or­i­ties, while set­ting the tone across the group on cost fo­cus.”

The group made a num­ber of po­si­tions re­dun­dant in the re­struc­tur­ing process, in­clud­ing the ex­ec­u­tives for cor­po­rate fi­nance, strat­egy and tech­nol­ogy, and cor­po­rate af­fairs, as well as the operations ex­ec­u­tive for tele­coms, mul­ti­me­dia and elec­tron­ics, and the operations ex­ec­u­tive for tech­nol­ogy.

Pre­sent­ing the group’s re­sults for the year to the end of Fe­bru­ary, Ny­ati said Al­tron was op­ti­mistic about the year ahead, be­cause new strate­gies would be im­ple­mented, in­clud­ing bring­ing in a new strate­gic share­holder, Value Cap­i­tal Part­ners.

He said the group was ex­pect­ing a cap­i­tal in­jec­tion of R400m.

Al­tron shares de­clined 1.1 per­cent on the JSE yes­ter­day to close at R11.67.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Crab­tree is the third busi­ness owned by Al­tron sub­sidiary Pow­ertech to be sold in the past two years.

PHOTO: SIMPHIWE MBOKAZI

Al­tron chief ex­ec­u­tive Mteto Ny­ati says the group is op­ti­mistic about the year ahead.

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