Data storage technology company, Verbatim Ltd. - a wholly-owned company of Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation - has transferred its South African entity to CrossAfrica Holdings (Pty) Ltd, as a going concern, with effect from 1 October 2016. The restructure targets various benefits, amongst others, improved customer value and B-BBEE compliance.
CrossAfrica Holdings is strategically structured to facilitate focus and unlock expertise resulting in three trading entities being registered: CrossAfrica Technologies (Pty) Ltd, CrossAfrica Lighting (Pty) Ltd and CrossAfrica Water Solutions (Pty) Ltd. An exclusive distribution agreement with Verbatim links these three trading entities, covering the African region.
Manny Cross, Group MD of CrossAfrica Holdings and former General Manager MEA (Middle East & Africa) for Verbatim, says the move allows the new operation to adapt more favourably to the changing markets across Africa. “Since opening the Verbatim office in Johannesburg in 1994 trading conditions have evolved and in many respects are not as aligned to European markets as previously experienced,” he says. “The Southern African region, for example, has developed its own unique business culture, and presents different challenges and opportunities. These would be better served by an independent company delivering the same market leading products with a greater emphasis on trade flexibility, providing solutions and forging local partnerships.”
The three trading entities positioned under CrossAfrica Holdings will operate independently. CrossAfrica Technologies (Pty) Ltd will be home to the Verbatim and Freecom brands providing storage, accessories and 3D printing material solutions. Water filtration products offering a unique technology bundle and positioned to target the growing need for quality drinking water in Africa, under the Cleansui brand, will be marketed through CrossAfrica Water Solutions (Pty) Ltd. Premium lighting solutions with a strong focus on LED, will be sold through CrossAfrica Lighting (Pty) Ltd.
“As an independent entity, we are now in a position to customise solutions to optimise opportunities with new partners. For example, talks and prototyping has already commenced with a local partner for the production of an innovative ‘point of entry’ membrane water filtration system,” says Cross.
Furthermore, Cross stressed that the experienced local Verbatim team, key to its success over the many years of trading, will remain in place. “From a customer perspective, going forward we will be focused on delivering solutions and better outcomes tailored to local market conditions,” he says.
Gary Milner, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing at Verbatim EUMEA says that this new structure will add multiple benefits to Verbatim’s business and presence within Africa. “CrossAfrica Holdings will be able to offer intense customer relationships and be closer and faster to the market than was possible with the previous structure, which will strengthen the Verbatim brand in the region,” said Milner. “All from Verbatim EUMEA and Mitsubishi Kagaku Media wish CrossAfrica Holdings the very best for the future.”
CrossAfrica Holdings will be officially launched to all partners and stakeholders in November this year.