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South Africa’s Metrofile expands into Gulf market with UAE acquisition

By GAR staff on 05.11.2014.

Metrofile Holdings, JSE-listed data management group, has purchased eFile Masters, a UAE-based peer, in a boost for its strategy to pursue medium to long-term growth opportunities.

Metrofile is a leader in physical and digital information management, with operations in South Africa, Mozambique, Nigeria and Zambia, among others, while eFile specialises in the conversion of documents into various digital formats in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Established in 1983, Metrofile has 26 facilities with over 88,000 square metres of warehousing and office space in South Africa alone.

Although no financial details were disclosed, Metrofile CFO Mark McGowan explained that eFile was one of the fastest-growing GCC information management firms, whose existing and future clients would benefit from pairing with Metrofile’s economies of scale.

“Following the acquisition, eFile will now be able to introduce new products, services and solutions to its customer base and GCC market in general, which will create synergies and accelerate growth opportunities,” said a statement.

McGowan added that, “the UAE in particular, is widely regarded as the gateway not only to the GCC, but also to the Middle East, North Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States.”

Hussein Al Zeer, MD of eFile, in turn asserted that the partnership would strengthen the business’s credibility as it expands into new markets and starts executing larger projects.

The day-to-day operation of eFile will continue to be run by the current management team, while the overall strategy of the company determined and controlled by a joint board of directors, comprised of both the Metrofile and eFile Masters leadership.

Earlier this month, Metrofile also announced its acquisition of 60% of the Zambian records managements company FlexiFile, and chief director Richard Buttle said the group had been looking for opportunities to acquire existing businesses over taking a green-field approach.

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“First, it is quicker to acquire an existing business than to build a new business from scratch, meaning the time to market is faster,” he noted. “Second, by working with a local partner we are able to leverage their experience and networks.”

Established in 1983 by the merger of two pioneers in the field, Metrofile caters to clients of every scale, from large corporations and government departments to micro-enterprises, and has 26 facilities with over 88,000m2 of warehousing and office space in South Africa alone.

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