Competition Commission greenlights US company’s takeover of Matrix and Beame owner

The Competition Commission of South Africa has recommended the approval of the US fleet management service provider Powerfleet’s acquisition of JSE-listed Mix Telematics, which owns the Matrix and Beame vehicle tracking companies.

In a statement on Thursday, the commission’s view was that the proposed transaction was unlikely to lessen or prevent competition in any market substantially.

The approval comes with the condition that the companies agreed to a two-year moratorium on retrenchment.

“In addition, the merging parties agreed to implementing either an historically-disadvantaged transaction or establishing an employee share ownership programme or a combination thereof, post-merger,” the commission said.

The companies first announced the planned acquisition in October 2023.

“This powerful combination will form a scaled, global entity of choice focused on helping customers save lives, time, and money by solving mission-critical business challenges, including safety and risk management, compliance, sustainability, and operational efficiency,” they said.

The companies estimated the combined business would have a total revenue of $279 million (R5.3 billion), including $210 million in recurring high-margin SaaS revenue for the trailing twelve-month period ended 30 June 2023.

From Matrix to Mix Telematics

Mix Telematics was founded in South Africa as Matrix Vehicle Tracking in 1995.

Over the last three decades, the company expanded its services to over 120 countries.

Its most recent data showed it actively managed 914,000 mobile assets and employed more than 1,000 people.

Aside from South Africa, Mix Telematics holds offices in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Uganda, the UK, the US, and the United Arab Emirates.

It changed its name after merging with Omnibridge in 2007.

As of 14 February 2024, Mix Telematics had a market capitalisation of R4.5 billion.

Nasdaq-listed PowerFleet is headquartered in New Jersey and is just two years older than Mix Telematics. It has been operating in South Africa as Pointer SA.

The company had a market cap of $115.74 million (R2.2 billion) at the time of publication.

Like Mix Telematics, it offers Internet of Things (IoT) software-as-a-service (SaaS) services aimed at optimising the performance of businesses’ mobile assets and resources.

PowerFleet is buying MiX Telematics through acquiring firm Main Street, a newly incorporated company established for the proposed transaction.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024.

The rebranded business will be called Powerfleet, with its primary listing on the Nasdaq.

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Competition Commission greenlights US company’s takeover of Matrix and Beame owner