Johannesburg - Information and communication technology (ICT) group AYO Technology listed on Thursday and reached a market cap of R14.7bn.
The successful listing of AYO, controlled by African Empowerment Equity Investments (AEEI), now makes it the largest listed black economic empowered ICT group in South Africa.
Kevin Hardy, chief executive of AYO, said the company has the opportunity to forge a new path for South African technology companies into Africa and beyond.
“With AYO Technology, we have built a very clear proposition that, while servicing the needs of people today, has the proven ability to innovate and deliver on what the future will determine.”
"Under the leadership of Group CEO Khalid Abulla, AEEI listed the first company on the JSE in 2017 namely Premier Fishing and Brands,” said Donna Nemer, director of capital markets at the JSE. “And now it has closed the JSE with the last listing of the year in 2017 with AYO Technology. This is a remarkable achievement for any CEO not only in SA, but in the world.”
On Monday it became clear that there was significant demand for AYO when it secured commitments for shares from invited investors to the value of R5.3bn, significantly more than the R4.3bn AYO aimed to raise.
Earlier this year AYO reported strong growth when AEEI reported its results. It increased revenues and operating profit by 182% from R168m to R476m and 142% from R256m to R619m respectively.
This significant growth was in line with its preparation for its separate listing on the JSE’s main board in the short term, AEEI stated.
AYO also delivered strong organic growth through the acquisition of two ICT companies plus the incorporation of its investment in BT Communication Services South Africa (BT) under AYO Technologies.
The Black Business Council, in congratulating AYO, said that black people have finally shown that they can become their own bosses.
“They can call all the shots and use black professionals for professional services” said George Sebulela, Secretary General of the BBC. “This is radical economic transformation at its best.”