Hensoldt South Africa acquires Tellumat’s air traffic management, defence units


Hensoldt South Africa has acquired Tellumat’s air traffic management and defence and security business units as it continues its local expansion.

The agreement was signed by Rynier van der Watt, Managing Director of Hensoldt South Africa and Andrew Connold, CEO of Tellumat, on 26 June, the companies announced on 1 July.

The transaction, which has been in the works for the last year, will be effective as soon as all regulatory approvals have been obtained. It is subject to warranties and guarantees that are normal for a transaction of this nature, Tellumat said in a notice to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on 30 June.

“With this transaction we are combining the activities of two leading defence electronics providers and strengthening our position as a leading defence, security and electronics brand in South Africa,” Van der Watt said. “The complementary product portfolios of Hensoldt South Africa and Tellumat create a complete sensor solutions offering, that is in line with that of the Hensoldt Group.” Van der Watt added that, “We will create new products and services that will build upon the significant expertise that is being acquired.”

Hensoldt South Africa and Tellumat have business areas that complement each other, including sensors and communications, particularly for unmanned aerial vehicles and other airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) applications.

Tellumat was established in 1963 as Plessey South Africa, and became Tellumat in 1998. Tellumat employs more than 100 people and has a turnover of more than R500 million, with a fifth of that comprising defence, a fifth air traffic management, a third integrated solutions and a third Leratadima Tellumat Manufacturing.

Tellumat’s defence and security portfolio covers identification friend or foe (IFF) systems, tactical communications (including radio and video links), and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems, including a full suite of data links and avionics. Its Air Traffic Management portfolio includes the supply, installation and maintenance of radar, navigational, voice communication and runway lighting systems for military and civilian airports.

“While this new relationship advances the legacy of Tellumat’s well-proven and innovative products, services and solutions, it also further expands the sales reach of the acquired business units through the global footprint of the Hensoldt Group,” Connold said.

Celia Pelaz, Hensoldt Group Executive responsible for South Africa said that, “This acquisition is a further step in the Hensoldt Group’s commitment to continue to invest in South Africa and to grow Hensoldt South Africa as one of its home countries”. Pelaz added that, “We are leveraging the power of the Hensoldt brand to expand its global footprint and open new market opportunities for the South African business.”

The transaction is in line with Hensoldt South Africa’s aims to see targeted growth and expansion as the company focusses on both the local and international markets. Since Hensoldt South Africa was formed in September 2019 as the brand housing Hensoldt Optronics and GEW, it says it is deeply committed to investing in the growth of its footprint in South Africa and the acquisition of the Tellumat business units is an example of that commitment.

Thomas Muller, CEO of Hensoldt, last year said that the German parent wants to triple business in the next five years, and this includes Hensoldt South Africa investing in new acquisitions and broadening its product base. “We will leverage the power of the Hensoldt brand and our global footprint to open new market opportunities for our South African business,” Muller said.

For decades, Hensoldt Optronics South Africa has focussed on specialised optical payloads, laser rangefinders, handheld observation systems as well as periscopes for the new build and retrofit submarine market. GEW has been a leading supplier of electronic warfare, spectrum monitoring and security solutions. With more than 600 local employees, Hensoldt South Africa has an annual turnover of R1.5 billion.