The IT services group’s Middle East and Africa (MEA) operations could soon be listed on Johannesburg’s stock exchange, if speculation swirling through the IT industry is correct.
Rumours have been doing the rounds for some time now that Dimension Data’s MEA management team — likely led by group executive chairman Jeremy Ord — has been keen to buy out the local arm of the Japanese-owned IT services conglomerate and list it on the JSE.
According to industry sources who claim to have knowledge of the situation, a restructuring that could lead to a listing may now be poised to happen. The restructuring could also see Internet Solutions, which has been run relatively autonomously until now, folded into Dimension Data MEA.
Details remain sketchy, though, and Dimension Data is keeping mum.
The latest talk is that Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT), which acquired Dimension Data Group in 2010 in a blockbuster £2.1-billion deal, will hold 25% of a restructured Dimension Data MEA, with a consortium (possibly made up of black shareholders to bolster the company’s empowerment credentials) owning 51%.
The remaining 24% of the business, the latest speculation has it, will be floated on the JSE through a listing.
If the shake-up happens, the restructured MEA business will likely be chaired by Ord, according to a source.
Dimension Data has a policy of not commenting on speculation. In line with this, it declined to comment when approached by TechCentral this week about a possible restructuring and listing of the MEA business.
NTT bought Dimension Data nine years ago and delisted it from the JSE and the London Stock Exchange. At the time, Dimension Data was the largest IT company listed on the local bourse.
The latest speculation about the MEA business comes as NTT goes through a major restructuring affecting several of its principal subsidiaries, including Dimension Data, NTT Communications and NTT Data, intended to make the group “more competitive and profitable” on the global stage.
A recent slide in an NTT investor presentation sets out how the group restructuring will happen
In August 2018, NTT announced a plan to bring together the operating companies of NTT Communications, Dimension Data, NTT Data and NTT Security, including all respective subsidiaries, under a newly formed holding company called NTT, Inc. This is expected to happen by July 2019.
The new operating company will have 43 000 employees worldwide and a presence in 88 countries. It will be the 11th largest ICT provider worldwide by revenue and have US$11-billion in combined revenues.
“As you know, we are in the middle of our integration as a business and we will continue to keep you updated,” a spokeswoman told TechCentral on Wednesday.
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