AEEI’s TECHNOLOGY DIVISION GROWS FURTHER BY ACQUIRING 51% OF HEADSET SOLUTIONS

25 November 2016
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Cape Town, 23 November 2016 – 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. Companies that are expanding their call centres or thinking about implementing unified communications should make contact with Headsets on info@headsetsolutions.co.za  – with over 400 partners in South Africa, Headsets is one of the largest headset distributors on the continent.

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.

Notes to editor:

Earlier in October, AEEI acquired 57 percent of voting rights of Puleng Technologies (Pty) Ltd. Puleng provides clients with a converged infrastructure platform, which allows for the leveraging of a customer’s computer, storage, virtualisation and management teams, which complements the other IT businesses.

Rory Lavelle Vice President of sales in Europe and Africa for Plantronics Khalid Abdulla Chief Executive Officer for AEEI and Tony Brown Chief Executive Officer for Headset Solutions

From left to right: Mr Rory Lavelle, Vice President of Plantronics – sales in Europe and Africa, Mr Khalid Abdulla, CEO of AEEI with Mr Tony Brown, CEO of Headset Solutions.

African Equity Empowerment Investments Limited (“AEEI or “The Company” or “The Group”) is a majority black-owned and black-managed investment holding Company based in South Africa.

The Group has investments in food and fishing, technology, health and biotherapeutics, events and tourism, all supporting Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) and small, medium and micro- enterprises (SMMEs). The Group also holds strategic investments in British Telecoms South Africa, Saab Grintek Defence, Pioneer Foods and Sygnia Limited, some with international partners.

Our growth strategy is underpinned by our diverse portfolio and is reflected in our results. This growth strategy has laid a strong foundation for the next phase of the AEEI’s Group’s evolution which is reflected in achievements in terms of Vision 2020 Vision.

AEEI’s primary market remains in South Africa; however, we continue to expand into the rest of Africa. Outside of South Africa we have a market presence in Asia, America, Africa, Europe, Dubai, United Kingdom, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda, Cameroon, Australia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya and Namibia through our subsidiaries.

AEEI achievements:

  • 1st overall in the Empowerdex Top 100 Empowered Companies Award of 2016 ;
  • 1st overall in the Empowerdex Top 100 Empowered Management Award of 2016;
  • Ranked as a Top 10 JSE-listed Company in the Financial Mail’s Top 100 Companies for financial performance in 2016 and 2015;
  • Ranked in the Top 5 in 2016 and 10th overall in 2015 in the Sustainability Data Transparency Index by the Integrated Reporting and Assurance Services out of the top 500 JSE-listed companies. In 2014,
  • AEEI received the top award – Sustainability Data Transparency Index’s highest score in the Financial Services sector and was rated 16th overall. In 2013 AEEI was ranked 182 overall;
  • Impumelelo Certificate of Excellence Award – Top Empowered Companies – in recognition of our commitment to transformation for the 2015 year.

Should you wish to set up an interview with Mr Khalid Abdulla, contact:

Feroza Petersen | Communications & Marketing manager

Tel:          + 27 21 427 1400
Mobile: +27 82 801 3919
www.aeei.co.za

More about Kalula Communications:

HEADSETS SOLUTIONS

HeadsetSolutionsSpotClogo [Converted] (1)

Kalula Communications (Pty) Ltd, trading as HEADSETS SOLUTIONS was founded in 1990. Kalula Communications (Pty) Ltd is an authorised importer and distributor of the Plantronics, Aastra and Konftel, product ranges.

PLANTRONICSPlantronics

Plantronics designs HEADSETS for a wide range of devices, including phones, laptops, handhelds, entertainment and music devices. Its offerings enhance a variety of applications across numerous markets, including the office, personal mobile, contact center, gaming, entertainment, residential, a wide spectrum of wireless markets and cutting edge VoIP applications.

KONFTELKonftel

Konftel is a worldwide leader in the manufacture of audio conferencing equipment and the inventor of audio conference technology. Konftel is the fastest growing brand in Europe, Headquartered in Sweden KONFTEL conference phones are used with IP/SIP, wireless, analogue, and mobile (SIM) and VOIP environments. KONFTEL recently introduced the world’s first and only GSM/3G conference phone for complete flexibility and convenience and also plays an important part of the Nobel Prize Award ceremony each year when the winners are notified of their awards via a Konftel 300 – no matter where they are in the world!

MITELmitel

Mitel is a leading company at the forefront of the enterprise communication market around the world. Mitel develops and delivers innovative communications products and applications for businesses such as standalone IP phones optimized for use with Microsoft® Lync™.

Should you wish to set up an interview with Mr Tony Brown, contact:

Delicia van Niekerk | PA to Mr Tony Brown, CEO of Headset Solutions
Telephone: 021 840 2200
Email:
delicia@headsetsolutions.co.za
www.headsetsolutions.co.za