By Samuel Mungadze for ITWeb
Miles Crisp, CEO of technology group Tarsus, resigned yesterday, with the company saying group finance director Joanne Tanner has also decided to leave to pursue other opportunities.
The double resignations were unexpected, as the group is in the middle of a buyout with Alviva, another JSE-listed technology group.
Board chairman Lawrence Barnett says Tarsus will appoint a new CEO shortly.
“Although we would have been pleased to retain the services of Miles and Joanne after the acquisition, we respect their decision to pursue new careers and wish them well. We thank them for their contributions to the group over the years. We will miss their wisdom, commitment, steady leadership and deep industry experience.”
Barnett adds that Crisp was appointed as group CEO in 2014, with a mandate from the board and majority shareholder Investec to optimise operations, derisk funding, strengthen governance and facilitate the sale of the group to a new owner.
Having achieved these goals – culminating in the announcement last year that Alviva Holdings plans to acquire Tarsus – Crisp believes this is an opportune time for him to exit the group.
He will leave this month and hand the reins to a new leader with a fresh mandate.
On Tanner, who had been with Tarsus for 10 years, the company says she is leaving in August to move to a new chapter in her career.
Tarsus is a value-added technology distributor, representing global hardware, software and information security brands.
Established in 1985, the Tarsus group has two main operating subsidiaries: Tarsus Distribution, which owns the South African, Botswana and Namibian IT distribution operations; and Tarsus on Demand, which operates a cloud solutions business.
The company was valued at R185.5-million as at 28 February 2020, the amount which Alviva offered to take over the company.
The resignation of Crisp and Tanner comes a few weeks after Alviva announced it had concluded the takeover of competitor Tarsus in a R185-million deal.
Commenting on the proposed deal, Tarsus said: “Subject to the approval of the Competition Commission, TTG is set to be acquired by Alviva Holdings. The due diligence process has been completed and other suspensive conditions relating to the transaction have been agreed to by Investec Bank and Alviva.”
Alviva said the Tarsus deal was motivated by its plans to expand the current IT distribution businesses into the retail customer segment where it has limited exposure.
Further, Alviva noted its intention to expand its product baskets by adding new vendors and the desire to grow its cloud solutions business also necessitated the deal.
Tarsus’s cloud business is significantly larger than that of Alviva’s.
Alviva said growth plans into Africa also stimulated the takeover, as Tarsus’s African business exceeds R670-million revenue.
Moleskine notebooks have fired the imaginations of would-be Hemingways, but even some struggling novelists might not have imagined their maker being taken over by a Belgian car importer.
D’Ieteren NV is buying a 41% stake in the Milan-based stationery maker and will make a bid for the remainder. That would put the maker of $45 notebooks in the hands of a family-owned business that began with a wheel-making plant Jean-Joseph D’Ieteren started in 1805. Moleskine shares surged 13% and D’Ieteren declined as much as 7.3%.
Just as Moleskine notebooks are often bought with romantic aspirations by those who dream of sketching one’s way to becoming the next Picasso, the bid has some analysts wondering if the Belgian company’s purchase isn’t a flight of fancy away from its main business. D’Ieteren ranks as Belgium’s No. 1 Volkswagen distributor and the owner of the world’s largest maker of car-repair glass.
“It slightly raises the risk profile of the group,” wrote Emmanuel Carlier, an analyst at ING in Brussels who says investors will value D’Ieteren shares lower because it’s becoming a holding company. The shares will be “volatile in the coming days as this is a transforming deal.”
“It will admittedly be seen as a contrarian move to many,” wrote David Vagman, an analyst at KBC Securities. “However, in our view, D’Ieteren management has delivered a solid deal from a financial point of view.”
The 2.40 euro-a-share purchase is only an odd fit “for somebody who doesn’t follow us closely,” says D’Ieteren spokeswoman Pascale Weber in a telephone interview. Moleskine “checked all the boxes” regarding strong fundamentals for long-term growth, she says, adding the company set out its investment priorities in December and says at the time purchases wouldn’t necessarily be car-related.
Pascale called Friday’s drop in D’Ieteren’s share price “negligible.”
“D’Ieteren is controlled by a family, and they take a long-term view,” she says. “And now they really want us — the corporate team — to prepare the company for the next generation.”
Moleskine was founded in 1997, resurrecting the design of its Tours, France-based predecessor, which went out of business in 1986. The design was inspired by descriptions from the travel writer Bruce Chatwin.
Moleskine shares traded at 2.43 euros at 2:51 p.m. in Milan, higher than the offer price. Pascale says that won’t pose a problem.
“Our price is 2.40, and that’s it,” says Weber. “We hope to get 100% of the shares; if it’s less, it’s not the end of the world for us.”
The takeover bid is the first step toward diversification at D’Ieteren, according to Matthijs Van Leijenhorst, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux. The purchase will contribute to D’Ieteren’s profit immediately and help add long-term growth prospects as the Belgian car market gets saturated, he says. The number of unwanted or wrecked cars is growing too thus to help manage this situation it is better to contact the WA Auto Parts – No.1 Car Wrecker in Perth!
“There are too many cars in Belgium,” the analyst says. “The country is one big traffic jam.”. You can contact Scrap My Car Montreal, the top dealer in car junk removal.
By Thomas Seal for www.bloomberg.com