Africa's largest technology services provider buys IT consultancy AFON

27 September 2017 Consultancy.uk

EOH, a South African technology and services provider, has acquired AFON, a Singapore-based IT consultancy. As part of the deal, which was advised on by Equiteq, M&A firm to the consulting industry, around 70 staff will transfer to Africa’s largest technology consultancy. 

Founded in 1999, AFON, a Singapore-headquartered IT consultancy, has been purchased by South African professional services firm EOH for an undisclosed fee. AFON, who cater to small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking for IT solutions, have partnered with some of the biggest names in the ERP industry to help clients boost efficiency, including SAP, Microsoft, Oracle and Sage – partners who now face a mounting challenge from the ERP solutions launched by market disruptor, Google. AFON has been presented a total of 33 accolades to date, including seven SAP B1 Partner of the Year awards, two Microsoft Partner of the Year prizes, and President’s Club – MS Dynamics commendations, also twice.

In February 2017, EOH itself obtained the Cornastone group of companies for an undisclosed amount, with the deal said to enhance the 12,000 strong firm’s service offerings. EOH had been participating in a plan of aggressive expansion, buying companies as it sought to enhance its organic growth through acquisitions. In the year leading to to July 2015, EOH almost broke through the R1 billion mark on its bottom line, thanks largely to this continuing strategy.

Africa's largest technology provider buys IT consultancy AFON

Following the successful deal, however, AFON – along with the spoils from its number of successful conquests – have been integrated into EOH’s global network as of September 2017. The EOH Group is Africa’s largest technology and services provider, with a market capitalisation of over $1.5 billion. EOH, which employs over 13,000 people in more than 50 countries worldwide, is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and provides specialist services in technology consulting, business process outsourcing, and industrial technology. This acquisition is a first for EOH in South-East Asia, signalling the group’s ambitions to grow internationally, particularly in a part of the world which is home to a number of rapidly developing economies.

Talking about the acquisition, Bernard Ho, Founder and Managing Director of AFON, remarked, “We are delighted to be joining a dynamic, forward-looking and entrepreneurial group such as EOH. Not only will this move put us in a position to better serve our existing clients and work on a larger scale with our business partners, but it will also provide a broader development platform for AFON and all its managers and consultants.” 

Ebrahim Laher, CEO of EOH International and Executive Director of the EOH Group, added, "With its excellent management and strong position in Singapore as the hub of South-East Asia and gateway to Asia-Pacific, AFON is a great bridgehead in the region.”

Equiteq, a B2B Services sector M&A advisory, which also specialises in consulting mergers, meanwhile announced that it provided advisory services to EOH during the purchase. Regarding Equiteq’s role in the deal, Laher added, “I am delighted with the approach and support provided by Equiteq throughout the process. Their knowledge and experience has helped us secure a deal that supports our development plans.”

Jean-Louis Michelet, Managing Director of Equiteq Asia-Pacific, meanwhile commented, “The acquisition of AFON is a major strategic step for EOH and we are proud to have assisted them by securing a deal that fulfils both parties’ development plans.”

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