DiData dishes out shares to employees, sells The Campus

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Dimension Data Middle East and Africa CEO Grant Bodley.
Dimension Data Middle East and Africa CEO Grant Bodley.

Systems integrator Dimension Data today announced a 15% employee ownership scheme, giving its staff ownership in the company without any personal investment.

It says the purpose of this offer is to further engage employees in the development of its business by allowing them to become shareholders of the firm.

The move comes after Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation earlier this year unveiled NTT, a global technology services provider that unites the capabilities of 28 companies, including NTT Communications, Dimension Data and NTT Security, into one $11 billion company.

Dimension Data says it remains an important member of the NTT group and will continue to leverage NTT’s shared services, technology and platforms.

The systems integrator previously had two successful broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) schemes.

The first came into effect in 2004 and vested in 2012, benefiting thousands of employees and broad-based groups. It transferred a total of R1.26 billion to beneficiaries.

This was immediately followed by an employee stock ownership plan scheme, which was concluded in 2017. The scheme has been unwound, with beneficiaries getting their payouts at the end of August this year.

Announcing the empowerment deal to the media this morning, Dimension Data Middle East and Africa CEO Grant Bodley said: “We have transferred this [shareholding] to our employees. The units will vest in three years and they will be paid out in seven years’ time. During that period, there will be a trickle of dividends.

“It has been financed at a discounted rate by the organisation, an all-round generous offer and, for me, it is the right approach. Our staff are vested in the business.”

With this transaction, together with the sale of its office, The Campus, Dimension Data has lifted its black ownership recognition to 51% under the black economic empowerment rules.

This has significantly improved Dimension Data’s BBBEE score, the company says.

Bodley said: “Dimension Data and NTT are committed to furthering our transformation journey and the pursuit of a sustainable South Africa. This is a significant accomplishment and we are extremely proud of our level two BBBEE rating. We look forward to growing our business further in South Africa.”

The Campus has been sold to a black women-owned company, which is part of the recently established Identity Property Fund (managed by Identity Fund Managers, a division of Identity Partners).

Dimension Data says the sale of The Campus is part of a wider restructuring exercise to enable the company to focus on its core business.

The firm currently occupies less than 50% of The Campus – an office park in Bryanston which has housed it since 2003. However, it says it will continue to occupy The Campus, which remains its head office.

Dimension Data says it has restructured its operating model driven by a new go-to-market strategy, which it claims is well-positioned for the future needs of its clients.

The company says it aims to provide a combined value proposition that enables data-driven decisions, provides digital customer experiences, creates connected workplaces for employees, and provides software-defined infrastructure.

Dimension Data has also established a new security business.

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