Dutch card maker enters SA market


18 December 2008

Digital security company Gemalto is to buy card-maker NamITech from South African diversified technology group Altech for an undisclosed sum.

Dutch-headquartered Gemalto specialises in providing end-to-end digital security solutions, ranging from software applications development and the design and production of secure personal devices – such as smart cards, SIM cards, e-passports and tokens – to the deployment of managed services for its customers.

“We have had a business relationship with Gemalto for over 15 years,” Altech group CEO Craig Venter said in a statement issued by Gemalto this week.

“We believe that this transaction provides the best future for the NamITech team, and the best support to our customers.”

Leading Southern African provider

According to the statement, Johannesburg-based NamITech has revenues of approximately R200-million, and is a leading provider of secure cards and services in the southern African region.

The company provides secure end-to-end business solutions and develops and implements value-added applications stemming from the use of smart cards, and newer technologies such biometrics and public key infrastructure. It also offers secure solutions for third-party payments, as well as virtual electronic transactions.

Its Johannesburg facility provides secure banking personalisation services to South Africa’s major banks, and employs approximately 350 people.

“Africa is a region on the rise for us,” said Gemalto CEO Olivier Piou. “This project will enable us to grow our service offering to southern African customers, and contribute to the development of the industry in the area.”

Altech Card Solutions, Altech ISIS and NamITech West Africa (Nigeria) will remain with the Altech group and are not part of the transaction, which is expected to close in March 2009, subject to approval from the South African competition authorities.

SAinfo reporter

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