Dimension Data Plc’s Executive Chairman Jeremy Ord, who helped found the company 27 years ago, will make up to 14.1 million pounds ($21.8 million) by selling stock in Africa’s largest computer-services company to Japan’s Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp.
Ord, 53, holds 11.75 million shares in the London-listed company, excluding his share incentive awards, according to Bloomberg data. NTT yesterday offered to buy all of Didata’s stock at 120 pence apiece, 18 percent more than the Johannesburg-based company’s closing price on June 14, the companies said in a statement.
The chairman, who started Didata with high school friends using a loan from FirstRand Ltd., was Didata’s chief executive officer in 2000 when he took the company to list in London. The stock was included in the FTSE 100 Index, reaching a record 693 pence in August 2000. Over the next two years, amid the fallout from dot-com crisis, its stock plummeted to a low of 13.75 pence, never reaching its previous levels.
The acquisition of Didata, which offers information-technology services from outsourcing to supplying computer equipment, gives NTT a company with more than 6,000 customers across 49 markets as the Tokyo-based carrier seeks to reverse three years of sales declines.
Didata owns Internet Solutions, which provides Internet, data and telecommunications services to corporate clients across Africa. It also controls Plessey, a builder of network equipment in Africa, and Datacraft Asia Ltd., Singapore’s largest builder of computer networks.
Ord wants to remain with the company and enjoy “this new era for himself and Didata,” said spokeswoman Hilary King in a telephone interview. According to Didata’s 2009 annual report, Ord holds 4.7 million share options, 600,000 share appreciation rights and 3.4 million long-term incentive awards.
After averaging 79.85 pence in the 12 months through July 14, Didata’s share price soared 20 percent yesterday to 121.8 pence after the NTT transaction was announced, giving the company a market value of 2.08 billion pounds.