Dial a Nerd, a technology support company known for 17 years for sending a nerd to fix your computer, has been snapped up by Turrito Networks, a subsidiary of JSE-listed investment group MICROmega.
Turrito Networks, a converged communication provider, is buying a 51% stake in Dial a Nerd.
The deal will be finance through equity and shares.
Colin Thornton, who founded Dial a Nerd in 1998, and his brother Aaron will both remain substantial shareholders in the firm. While other shareholders, Roberto Caprio and Phil Case, who joined in 2002 and 2006 respectively, will be selling their shareholding.
The firms did not disclose more terms of the deal.
MICROmega – a R2.2 billion firm that operates in the technology, stockbroking industries and occupational health and safety spaces – owns 66% of Turrito Networks. The listed investment company has seen its share price rise more than 500% in the past three years after the return of Dave King, a controversial businessman, as an executive chairman.
King came back after settling a long-standing tax dispute with the South African Revenue Service.
MICROmega has grown organically and through acquisitions of companies such as Aspirata Auditing Testing Certification, Freshmark Systems, Rdata and Amanzi Meters.
Dial a Nerd is set to bolster the offering of Turrito Networks in the small medium enterprises (SMEs) market.
“With the acquisition of Dial a Nerd, Turrito Networks is now able to offer an end-to-end IT solution, resulting in a single point of responsibility and none of the finger pointing endemic to the IT industry,” says Brian Timperley, managing director of Turrito Networks.
“Dial a Nerd already has a large SME customer base and can now offer them all market available connectivity, hosting and Cloud solutions.
“The two companies, working closely together, can now handle every aspect of an SME’s IT, from the keyboard right through to the internet with a wider range of skills and the same massive focus on superior service.”
The deal makes Turrito Networks a more sizable company and enables it to be the first service provider to encompass every aspect of IT for the SME market.
This will include managed desktop and LAN (local area network) through to managed connectivity and WAN (wireless area network), as well as managed hosting and cloud solutions.
The transaction enables Dial a Nerd to offer more comprehensive solutions.
The deal enables both firms to handle every aspect of an SME’s IT, from the keyboard right through to the Internet with a wider range of skills.
“There is benefit in the substantial financial backing offered by the MICROmega, which enables far more investment in our growth,” says Colin Thornton, co-managing director of Dial a Nerd
Dial a Nerd employs about 60 people and plans to increase its workforce.
When asked if Turrito Networks is a good fit for Dial a Nerd, Thornton says connectivity is an absolutely essential piece of the IT environment. The company has worked with other internet service providers in the past.
“However, without having a major relationship with one of them we could never leverage truly great service and pricing for our customers. With Turrito Networks that has changed.”
On the other hand, Turrito Networks regards Dial a Nerd as an important element in its growth strategy.
“There are significant synergies between the two organisations and the benefits to Turrito Networks and Dial a Nerd are mutual and substantial,” says Timperley.
“Dial a Nerd customers require superior connectivity, especially with the advent and rapid uptake of Cloud services, and Turrito Networks customers need exceptional support extending right to their desktops and Local Network. It’s a powerful partnership, and one that is sure to stir things up in the SME space.”
Turrito Networks already operates in various African countries.
Timperley says the company “will be looking to introduce Dial a Nerd and expand both brand northwards”.