Mumbai, Feb. 10: SSI Ltd today announced that it will acquire 27.18 per cent promoter’s stake in IT training major, Aptech Ltd, at a price of Rs 49.75 per share and follow it with an open offer that would raise its stake to 47 per cent in the company. SSI will purchase over 49.32 lakh shares for a consideration of Rs 24.5 crore.
The deal displays consolidation in the IT training arena. The education and training business of SSI Ltd will be integrated with Aptech within 12 months.
“This acquisition will consolidate the significant synergies between SSI and Aptech,” said Kalpathi Suresh, chairman and CEO of SSI. While SSI is recognised for its strengths in long-term courses and multimedia training, Aptech’s training network includes a number of international centres.
Pramod Khera, CEO and managing director of Aptech, will continue as the CEO of the combined entity. According to SSI, customers will not face any major changes as a result of the proposed merger.
However, it is not known as to how Atul Nishar could sale his stake in Aptech to SSI as recent reports have suggested that the debt recovery tribunal had passed an interim direction restraining Nishar from transferring or selling his stake in the company. Aptech officials were not available for comment on this issue.
Aptech will continue to be the brand with significant focus on long-term career courses. On the other hand, Asset will be the brand for externally certified courses and Arena for multimedia training. SSI will focus on short-term courses in emerging technologies.
Together, the Aptech-SSI combine will have 3,208 centres and with global revenues of over Rs 420 crore, the company claims that it will become the country’s largest IT training provider. Reports say that for the second quarter of this financial year, NIIT had a market share of 52 per cent followed by Aptech with 39 per cent and SSI with 9 per cent share.
SSI’s education and training division had generated Rs 121 crore revenue for the financial year ended June 30, 2002 and Rs 19.09 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2002.
Aptech had global billings of Rs 299 crore for the period ended March 31, 2002 and Rs 76.10 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2002.