Black-owned Cornastone has acquired 25,01% of ACI South Africa, the local operation of the world's leading electronic payments systems company, ACI Worldwide, in a BEE transaction for an unspecified sum of cash. This will be settled over a period of time through a structured payment schedule.
The transaction has been enacted through the creation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV), ACI Worldwide Cornastone, to which ACI has sold its South African subsidiary. Cornastone acquires 25,01% of the SPV, with ACI retaining the balance.
"This is our biggest investment so far," says Cornastone Consulting CEO Hamilton Ratshefola. "It opens up huge opportunities for us and brings us closer to fulfilment of our overall strategy. It strengthens our banking application portfolio, and makes Cornastone ACI's de facto delivery arm in Africa. As an initial requirement, we will employ and train up six new engineers immediately."
ACI will make full use of Cornastone's engineers as part of an overall strategy to use regional and lower-cost resources. "Our approach is wherever possible to deploy people from developing markets. Ultimately, we also aim to use Cornastone skills globally, where possible," says Berg.
In addition, Cornastone has been appointed as a distributor of ACI products in South Africa and may engage in business development in sub-Saharan Africa. In time, ACI may also use Cornastone for development skills through DVT, the JSE-listed company in which Cornastone has a 25% stake.