Global Retail Software Company Acquires Majority stake in Alacrity

May 2012

Alacrity Technologies (Pty) Ltd today announced that Argility has bought a majority stake in the privately held company. Argility is the leading developer and provider of software solutions and integration services to the retail sector in the Southern African region.

Argility is also active in selected global regions with clients such as Moss Brothers, Foschini, Ellerines (EHL), Incredible Connection, Mica Hardware and Vodashop to name a few.

Argility is a wholly owned subsidiary of Capital Eye Investments Ltd, the investment vehicle formed in 2011 as a result of the delisting and unbundling of UCS.

Along with the change in shareholding is a shift in leadership and executive structure. Brian Ford, co-founder and CEO of Alacrity moves out of his position into a broader group business development role, and the board has appointed Eric Veldboer as CEO. Veldboer is a seasoned executive with international experience from the UK, Europe and the USA, who made a lifestyle motivated move to Cape Town in 2009 with his South African born wife and their family. He has been involved in the IT sector for over 25 years as both technology director of large multinationals and as an entrepreneur. Within Alacrity, he has held the roles of General Manager of the software development division and commercial executive for Alacrity’s product ventures.

The Alacrity Board now comprises Stuart Phillips who remains on as Chairman, Neil Michelson (Commercial Director, Capital Eye), Josie Fortuin (CFO, Capital Eye), Derek Wiggill (Deputy CEO, Argility) and Eric Veldboer (CEO).

The newly formed Executive Committee includes Eric Veldboer (CEO), Mary-Anne Flanagan (CFO), Dr Andrew Boake (CTO), Tony Voges (General Manager – Professional Services), Candice Booysen (People Services) and Geraldine Young (Client Engagement).

The retail software sector continues to experience growth despite a tough global economic climate; but it’s the ongoing convergence between the retail and financial services sectors that provided a strong catalyst for this deal. “Alacrity has extensive domain knowledge and experience in the financial services industry and we are eager to tap into their skills and knowledge base to explore synergies between our companies,” comments John Bright, Argility CEO, “The companies will remain independently managed, however we do expect to realise certain efficiencies like the consolidation of premises and cross utilisation of each other’s intellectual capital – our people – and market offerings over time.”

Veldboer is particularly positive about the role that access to a solid retail client base will have in the commercialization of Alacrity’s product ventures; the social business software companyWyseTalk, online fleet management solutionFleetDomain, cloud-delivered digital asset management productDAMSenseandTracer Mobile Workforce management software.

“The merger between MagmaTec and Comprehend IT that formed Alacrity in 2010 was completed during the course of last year and a new growth strategy was embarked upon,” comments outgoing CEO, Brian Ford, “This deal is a long time in the making and I believe it’s what we need to achieve the objectives we set and to create the shareholder and customer value that we want from the business. I look forward to working with our Argility colleagues to maximize the synergies inherent in our partnership, knowing I leave the Company in the care of an experienced and strong leadership team, and grateful to all the staff, many of whom have been there from when we started in 1998.”

About Alacrity

Alacrity is a privately held software development and IT services company. For more than a decade it has provided the South African financial services and retail industries with excellent software solutions and technical resources. The company specialises in enterprise-scale administration systems (banking backend systems through to franchise management platforms) with emphasis on business process integration and the management of private data.

About Argility

Argility is the leading developer and provider of software solutions to retailers in Southern Africa. The company’s software powers in excess of 6,000 retail operations internationally. Argility provides multiple packaged and custom software solutions as well as the Cordys Retail Solutions Framework that forms the foundation of a new generation of service oriented solutions engineered for multi-channel retail and hosted on-premise or in the cloud.