Cognition buys BMi Research stake for R11m


 JSE-listed Cognition Holdings has snapped up the remaining 60.3% stake it didn’t own in BMi, a research firm specialising in consumer and industrial research. By Gugu Lourie 

The firm that operates quietly to provide telecoms and IT solutions to big telecommunications operators said it would pay R11 million for buying the stake from The Tandem Trust, Gareth Pearson and Dana Braithwaite.

The transaction will be facilitated through an issue of Cognition shares at R2 valued at more than R7.4 million and R3.7 million in cash.

Cognition currently owns 39.7% of the issued shares in BMi Research. In July 2014, Cognition bought 35% of the issued shares in BMi Research and in August 2015 it snapped up a further 4.7% of BMi from an exiting minority shareholder.

“The acquisition of the remaining BMi Research shares will further complement and enhance the strategic objectives that Cognition has embarked on. BMi Research will contribute tremendous value to the Company’s Knowledge 350 degrees consultancy by assisting clients in better understanding customer needs, perceptions and realities,” Cognition informed investors on Thursday.

Cognition owns Knowledge 350, a specialised consulting services division, which collects data in line with POPI, creates permission-based marketing, and transforms raw data to information and ultimately knowledge.

This division was created to deal with the challenges of companies collecting data while respecting that customers own their data and have rights to privacy around the data.

Knowledge 350 assists companies to manage these challenges and to exploit opportunities.

Last month Cognition announced it has a strong balance sheet with cash of R95 million, which “will be used to evaluate additional acquisitions in line with our knowledge and data strategy”.

Cognition Holdings, formerly known as FoneWorx, has successfully traded for the past 19 years, building solid blue chip clients such as Cell C, DStv, MTN, SAB, SABC, Telkom, Unilever and Vodacom.

Cognition is majority-owned by media group Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers.

Post year-end, Cognition formed a new company called Cognition Analytics – a joint venture with qualified and experienced actuaries who will provide the company with the necessary mathematical, scientific and analytic insights to support Knowledge 350 initiatives.

Cognition presently operates in 38 countries in Africa through relationships with 95 mobile networks. It provides SMS campaigns, which are part of its active data exchange services such as SMS, instant/multimedia messaging service (IM/MMS), interactive voice response (IVR), etc.



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