DataPro buys @lantic

Von Computing SA

AltX-listed DataPro Group has announced it has acquired @lantic Internet Services for Rand 45 million (US$7.1 million). In terms of the acquisition, DataPro will acquire @lantic"s 32,000-strong customer base, while retaining the @lantic brand.

The business will continue to trade independently.

This was confirmed by James Herbst, financial director of DataPro, who said the acquisition provides immediate bandwidth synergies, as well as revenue sharing opportunities in the future.

"@lantic is a well-run business, and has a superb distribution channel of over 135 franchises around the country, as well as 500 dealers. The purchase gives us access to this channel, and allows us to push our products and solutions offerings down this channel," he adds.

Herbst said with @lantic generating monthly annuity revenue of around Rand 3.2 million per month and after tax earnings of Rand 2.56 million for the year ended February 2005, industry analysts might regard the purchase on the expensive side "as it comes with a P/E of 18".

"However," he said, "what is important to note is that the ISP landscape is now in "land grab" mode -- where gaining precious market share and customers is paramount. Moreover, we anticipate earnings being enhanced by around Rand 5.4 million from 1 September 2005 to 31 August 2006."

The @lantic acquisition is DataPro"s second since listing last October. During March the company acquired Durban-based ISP, Wickhit, for just over Rand 1 million.