INVESTMENT holding company Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) said yesterday that it had acquired a majority interest in privately held outsourced services provider Syntell for an undisclosed sum.

The balance of the shares will be held by Syntell management. The JSE-listed company also appointed four directors to the Syntell board.

Syntell describes itself as the leading outsourced services provider to local government in SA. Its focus areas include traffic management, road safety, and revenue collection services.

“We were looking for a very representative broad-based empowerment group to enhance our existing empowerment profile, and we got that with HCI. We were also looking for a partner that can play an active role in steering the company forward and HCI brings this as well,” Syntell CEO Mark Chewins said.

HCI’s largest single shareholder is the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu). The company’s board comprises unionists including Marcel Golding.

Sactwu, together with other previously disadvantaged individuals, currently holds about 53% in HCI. The investments group in turn has stakes in e.tv, Golden Arrow Bus Services, Clover and a 40% holding in listed leisure and gaming company lohnnic Holdings.

“The significant emphasis on service delivery by local government has resulted in outsourcing becoming increasingly important part to deliver results. Syntell is very well positioned as a leading local government outsourcing partner,” HCI executive director Elias Mphande said.

Source: Business Day – I-net Bridge