Huge Group buys into distributor Pansmart

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James Herbst, CEO of Huge Group.
James Herbst, CEO of Huge Group.

JSE-listed Huge Group has acquired a shareholding in Pansmart that will give it control of an authorised distributor of Panasonic's voice, video and CCTV products.

The acquisition took effect yesterday. While Pansmart will retain its name, it will incorporate Huge Group branding alongside its current branding.

"We have been discussing a stronger business relationship between Huge Group and the MIA Group for a long time and a partnership between our respective groups based on a transaction involving Pansmart is a logical first step in furthering our relationship," says Bryan Driessel, MD of the MIA Group's holding company, MIA Telecoms.

"This transaction furthers the 'Growing Huge Strategy' by growing Huge Telecom's real estate of customers, while adding Panasonic, a leading brand in the telecommunications space, to Huge Group's portfolio of product offerings," says James Herbst, CEO of Huge Group.

According to Huge Group, Pansmart is a strong new challenger in the South African private automatic branch exchange (PABX) market.

The company was granted a distribution licence by Panasonic three years ago and it has grown Panasonic's market share significantly, says Huge.

It adds that Panasonic is a trusted brand, which has extremely competitive price points that are attractive in the SME space.

"Its range of hybrid PABXs, which include embedded analogue voice ports across the range, allow for simple and cost-effective PABX and GSM voice solutions. Pansmart's Panasonic PABX and Huge Telecom's GSM-based, full suite telephony is a powerful connectivity combination," says Rob Burger, MD of Huge Telecom.

"In the last three years, Pansmart has focused on growing its national footprint of channel partners, as well as growing its base of installed PABXs. Having Huge Group and Huge Telecom as partners provides an added incentive for Pansmart to accelerate its channel growth by leveraging the synergy between its PABXs and the voice connectivity offering of our new sister company, Huge Telecom," says Louis Fourie, MD of Pansmart.

Pansmart is Huge Group's second deal this year. In March, it acquired independent telco company Otel and merged it with its subsidiary Huge Networks.

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