Ansys continues buying spree


The company has bought Optocon Systems for R14.5 million.AltX-listed railway and defence IT company Ansys has made good on promises at the time of its listing to expand through acquisition. It has bought Optocon Systems for R14.5 million.

The company raised R30 million when it listed in June and committed the money “to fund future strategic acquisitions”.

Ansys bought Emerging Signals in late November for R15 million. Although that kitty looks exhausted, Ansys CEO Alan Holloway says the Optocon deal is not the end of the acquisition trail.

“Ansys is still negotiating the finalisation of other acquisitions which it hopes to conclude shortly. As a result, the company remains under a cautionary advisory to shareholders,” he says.

Holloway adds that, while the bulk of his company`s business now comes from the transport sector, “this transaction falls more into the realm of the defence industry”.

Optocon is a manufacturer of precision electro-optical systems, ranging from infrared and ultraviolet optical components to high-performance TV and night vision sensors and diamond sorting units. Its customers include armaments manufacturers Denel, in SA; Norinco, in China; and SAAB, in Sweden; as well as diamond company De Beers.

Holloway says there is a promising opportunity locally for Optocon as a supplier to Denel of infrared optical systems for the Badger infantry combat vehicle and the Rooivalk attack helicopter. In addition, China represents a potentially huge market for Optocon products.

“China has an interest in improving its electro-optic capabilities,” says Holloway. “Optocon has a history of dealing with China as a trading partner and supporting Chinese manufacturers in this area and we expect to benefit further from these long-established relationships.”

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