Datatec valued at £332m after debuting on AIM

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The Independent Online

Datatec, a South African technology company, has raised close to £14m through a listing of its shares on AIM that makes it the largest technology stock listed on the junior market.

The company has placed more than 7 million new shares at 192p, giving it a market capitalisation of £332m. The shares, which are also listed on the Johannesburg stock market, will begin unconditional trading on Friday.

Datatec operates in 20 countries and resells products from the likes of Cisco, IBM and Nokia to other resellers, as well as providing IT services in areas like computer mainframes and network equipment to corporate and government clients. It has also experienced strong growth in its network security operations.

It derives half of its revenue from North America, where it trades under the Westcon brand, and more than a third of its sales in the UK, under the Logicalis name. South Africa accounts for only 2 per cent of its overall revenue. In the year to 28 February, Datatec recorded an 18 per cent increase in revenue to almost $3bn, while earnings tripled to $85.2m.

Datatec will use the funds to pursue its acquisition strategy in the IT services market. The company has a good record in acquiring rivals after completing seven deals over the past two years.

Jens Montanana, chief executive, said: "We are considering a number of opportunities to broaden and deepen our services portfolio." He said he was keen to increase the company's exposure to emerging markets in areas like South America, specifically Brazil, and Asia Pacific, and the company was also interested in strengthening its position in Canada and India.