Hitachi to buy South African IT company

6 October 2011

US-based Hitachi Data Systems is to acquire South Africa’s Shoden Data Systems, a leading provider of data centre technology solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, for an undisclosed sum, as part of its growth strategy on the continent.

Shoden designs, provisions, deploys and supports products and technologies that simplify and optimise data centre environments to many enterprise customers in the region, including major banks, telecommunication companies and retail companies.

Headquartered in Johannesburg, Shoden has also established subsidiaries in the UK and in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as part of its continued expansion in sub-Saharan Africa.

Hitachi Data Systems, a subsidiary of Japan’s Hitachi, has enjoyed a successful 11-year partnership with Shoden, and Shoden’s growth over that period has enabled it to capture a significant share of the rapidly growing South African enterprise data storage market.

Continuing growth across Africa

As such, Hitachi Data Systems Europe, Middle East and Africa general manager Niels Svenningsen pointed out that the proposed acquisition was a natural step in the relationship between the two companies.

“Shoden has achieved great success and leadership in South Africa, creating a strong customer base and building a skilled and motivated team,” Svenningsen said in a statement this week. “We share the same values and commitment to excellence and innovation.

“Together, as a united company, we are committed to continuing the outstanding support given to all of our customers and to continue to grow across Africa.”

The addition of Shoden will enable Hitachi Data Systems to better serve its growing customer base throughout the region by continuing to help customers reduce costs, carry out business innovation initiatives, improve service levels and deploy new applications and technologies more quickly and efficiently.

Committed to black empowerment

Shoden has been a dedicated supporter of black economic empowerment (BEE), in particular through its relationship with Tactical Software Systems (TSS), an IT company that provides business solutions for commercial and public enterprises in South Africa.

Hitachi Data Systems said it intends to continue this relationship with TSS and is committed to building on the company’s adoption of the BEE framework should the competition authorities approve the proposed acquisition.

“We are very excited about the prospect of joining the Hitachi Data Systems family,” said Shoden Data Systems MD Marc Trevenen. “We are proud of the proven expertise, reputation and local knowledge that we have developed over the past 11 years.

“The strength of Hitachi Data Systems solutions has been an integral part of this journey.”

The acquisition is subject to approval from the South African Competition Commission and other relevant competition authorities in the African countries in which Hitachi Data Systems and Shoden conduct operations.

SAinfo reporter

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