CSIPER Consulting acquired by arivia.kom

Johannesburg, 15 Jan 2002

Leading IT solutions company, arivia.kom celebrates the first anniversary since formation with its first acquisition having concluded an agreement with a leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) and Packaged-Enabled Re-Engineering (PER) consulting firm, CSIPER Consulting. This agreement gives arivia.kom total ownership of CSIPER Consulting.

Says arivia.kom CEO, Zeth Malele: "In order to achieve our vision to be the dominant ICT player on the continent, it is important that we not only pursue building our existing capabilities but also build additional capabilities. ERP is a key area that lies at the core of not only our own business but also our clients.

"We are on track with the consolidation of the three entities which make up arivia.kom and it is now time to grow both organically and through acquisitions. We spent a great deal of time investigating the ERP market to ensure the selection of the right partner and we are confident that in CSIPER Consulting, we have found the cream of the crop.

"It is our strategy to grow our private sector client base and CSIPER Consulting will be an excellent vehicle to achieve this. The new blood will help us reinvent our business and further enhance our commercial orientation. They also have an important role to play in our focus on sharpening delivery."

CSIPER Consulting, which received recognition in 1996 from BMI-TechKnowledge as the most experienced SAP consultancy in the country and was earmarked by the Boston-based IDC as a "company to watch", has over the past four years been the subject of a number of buy-out attempts.

Says CSIPER Consulting managing director, Hans Visser: "We have been courted several times, but only now have we found the perfect match. We needed two essential components going into the future - black empowerment and critical mass. We have reached a point where we have to grow. Our track record proves that we have the capability to run large implementation projects. We have been involved in over 80 implementations and integration projects since 1990 of which we were the prime contractor in more than 40% of the projects.

"We need the muscle of arivia.kom, which will not only ensure our continuing existence as a leading ERP company but will also provide us with the opportunity to be the biggest player. It also opens up new opportunities for our staff, whom are among the best ERP consultants in the business with an average SAP experience of almost six years."

While CSIPER is primarily a SAP solutions provider and is one of a handful of SAP logo partners in SA, its custom-made solutions also include other complementary value-added packages.

Visser says he is also impressed with the dynamic environment of arivia.kom and the enthusiasm, open-mindedness and entrepreneurial spirit of the leadership. Hugo Knoetze, arivia.kom chief financial officer, says that in terms of the agreement, CSIPER Consulting becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of arivia.kom and will retain its brand. Existing ERP capabilities within arivia.kom will fall under the brand of CSIPER Consulting, effectively doubling the size of the company in terms of its skills base.

The purchase price has not been disclosed but a percentage of the purchase consideration includes a performance clause.

Says Knoetze: "Apart from CSIPER Consulting being the perfect strategic fit, and its excellent ratings and the respect it commands in the marketplace, it provides both parties with excellent cross selling opportunities. We were most impressed with its client profile across a cross section of industries not only locally, but also internationally."

Success stories include the $10 million contract with the largest farmer owned co-operative in the United States, Farmland Industries, Johnson and Johnson (Asia Pacific and SA), Mitsubishi Electrical (Taiwan), Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, British American Tobacco (UK), Barclays Bank (UK), BMW (SA) and Delta Motor Corporation (SA).

On further acquisitions, Knoetze adds: ``arivia.kom has an acquisition strategy in place and the company will only do acquisitions which complement its service offering or increase its capabilities."


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