Altron CEO Mteto Nyati

Altron plans to sell its Altron Document Solutions, Arrow and People Solutions subsidiaries, which it has identified as non-core.

The JSE-listed technology group has already identified a range of parties that are interested in participating in a sale of these companies, CEO Mteto Nyati said in an investor presentation on Wednesday.

Altron Document Solutions — previously known as Bytes Document Solutions — already has five interested parties, Nyati said. Document Solutions is the biggest authorised Xerox distributor in the world.

Four parties have expressed an interest in buying Altron Arrow, while the figure for Altron People Solutions is 15.

The plan to sell the three businesses comes after Altron in recent years disposed of a range of businesses, mainly legacy electrical businesses that no longer fitted into its focus on software and IT services.

It also recently “de-merged” from its highly profitable Bytes UK business. Bytes is now listed on the London Stock Exchange, with a secondary inward listing in Johannesburg, and has a market capitalisation of more than four times Altron’s.

Four priorities

Nyati said Altron wants to complete, or be in the process of completing, the three disposals by the time it presents its 31 August interim financial results for the 2022 financial year.

The planned disposal of the three businesses is one of four key priorities identified by Altron. The others are:

  • Unlocking shareholder value by doing a “sum-of-the-parts exercise” similar to the one that led to the de-merger of Bytes UK. “That played out well and it was a successful de-merger. Right now, we are working on doing a similar kind of exercise and will be sharing the results of this at the end of this month,” Nyati said, adding that Altron will also explore further disposals of subsidiaries where this makes sense. It’s widely anticipated that the vehicle tracking and recovery business Netstar could be unbundled in some way.
  • Making bolt-on acquisitions for Altron Security (providing additional offerings and geographic expansion) and for Netstar (providing geographic expansion).
  • Maintaining Altron’s track record of execution and fixing the Altron Karabina business, which Nyati said has underperformed.  — © 2021 NewsCentral Media

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