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Datatec finalises MBO of two of subsidiary's divisions

19 November 2003 News

Datatec has finalised the management buyout of two divisions of its Westcon Africa and Middle East (WAME) subsidiary.

The sale of Datanet and Westcon Cabinet Manufacturers to a management consortium came after Datatec's decision earlier this year to dispose of certain non-core operations. Former WAME chief executive Terry Kelly and directors Colin Strawson and Craig Luck facilitated the MBO.

From left: Colin Strawson, Terry Kelly and Craig Luck
From left: Colin Strawson, Terry Kelly and Craig Luck

Datanet will continue to provide technology infrastructure solutions from leading international structured cabling supplier Molex, and media converters from suppliers such as Transition. Westcon Cabinet Manufactures will change its name to ModRAC and will be headed up by Craig Luck, who has been appointed managing director. Luck joined Datanet three years ago to run the factory and to start building the export business. ModRAC claims it is the largest manufacturer of customised enclosures that support IT cabling and network infrastructure in Africa.

Says Kelly: "We believe these are sound businesses and are confident that significant growth will be achieved within a short period of time. From a Datanet standpoint, strong emphasis will be placed on service and delivery, while ModRAC's focus will be on increasing sales globally as we believe that it is a superior product that can compete internationally. Most importantly, both Datanet and ModRAC clients and dealers will benefit from improved service and support levels, which includes technical training and rewards programmes."

Datanet, headquartered in Wynberg Gauteng, will cover southern Africa through established branches in Durban, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Cape Town and its sub-distributor in Botswana. ModRAC will use Datanet as its distributor in southern Africa, Prizm in the Middle-East and ModRAC UK for the European markets. The company is looking at appointing a distributor in West and East Africa in the very near future.

"We continue to see growth in the mid- to high-end cabling market as more businesses are starting to realise the mission-critical importance of installing a high-quality cabling infrastructure," says Colin Strawson, now appointed as Datanet managing director.

Well known in the industry, Strawson has been with Datanet for 11 years. He says that increased network traffic has resulted in organisations starting to demand infrastructure technologies that are more durable and reliable. Most countries in Africa still need to be wired or re-wired, he adds, and Datanet will be actively targeting this market with Molex cabling products.

Comments Peter Narey, MD of Molex Premise Networks EAME: "Molex Premise Networks confidently supports the management buyout taking place at our South African distribution partners, Datanet. We look forward to continuing our successful working partnership with Datanet, delivering cutting edge structured cabling solutions to the South African network installer market."

"In terms of our BEE strategy, both companies will in time become truly black empowered whereby all employees regardless of colour will have the opportunity to own shares in the company," says Luck.

"Datanet's national branch and dealer network will benefit from the 'one-stop' solutions approach, increased service levels and a more 'open' communications philosophy that will prevail going forward. We will be working very closely with installers and integrators to make sure they are properly trained and that we are providing them with the products and services they require to satisfy their customer's demands," concludes Kelly.

For more information contact Datanet, +26 (0)11 990 6000.





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