Back to the future: new owners, new drive, new vision

August 2012 News & Events

Norbain South Africa has announced it is under new management, well, new ownership. Scarcely two weeks have passed since Norbain UK announced it had been acquired by Newbury Investments UK and was looking to sell the company’s branches in South Africa, Portugal and Netherlands, and the local concern has been bought by its current management.

The management buyout (MBO) was confirmed last week. Unlike the usual corporate manoeuvring that take weeks or months, effective immediately, Norbain SA is now owned by Jan De Lange, the MD, Lukas Rautenbach, the FD and Les Oates, a director.

Jan de Lange
Jan de Lange

The company has just confirmed that it will ditch the Norbain brand and revert to the Reditron brand. Reditron was the name of the original South African security distributor bought by Norbain back in 1996.

De Lange told Hi-Tech Security Solutions that the transition has been seamless and that no staff left, despite a high demand for Norbain’s technical employees. Moreover, none of the staff have been retrenched. On a positive note for Norbain customers, it will continue to supply all the products it currently does. Since Norbain SA has always signed direct contracts with its suppliers, all distribution agreements are still in force, with Oates noting that not one vendor has withdrawn their products from the Reditron catalogue.

“It is business as usual, but now we are able to forge our own path,” notes De Lange. “Whereas we had to operate within the rules of our parent company in the past, we now have the flexibility to run the company focused on meeting the needs of the South African market.”

This will include local manufacturing opportunities for in-house brands in the future, as well as the opportunity to improve the company’s BEE status as a result of the company’s freedom to bring on empowered partners. “We have a host of ideas we will be implementing in due course,” says De Lange. “Watch this space. We have some exciting plans and the market can take note that we are here to stay.”

General consensus in the market is positive, supporting the change. Michael Gwozdek, MD of Heitel, says, “HeiTel has several great memories of the longstanding and continuing relationship with Norbain South Africa. Our partnership is based on many years of collaboration, full confidence in each other and our joint focus of activities to develop and marketing tailor-made solutions to meet the expectations and the needs of our mutual customers in South Africa.

“We highly believe in the strength and enthusiasm of the newly formed management team of Norbain South Africa, their independence from global management and the team spirit of Norbain’s employees. The changes are optimal conditions for a reciprocal growth of our business in South Africa.”

Sony’s Will Klopper supports this view, noting “We are extremely excited about the successful management buyout by the Norbain SA management team. We could not have hoped for a better outcome and we know that with the skills and talents of the existing staff, combined with the solid experience in the South African market, Norbain SA will go from strength to strength.

“Norbain SA proved themselves over the past few years as being able to take a high end premium product like Sony to a market which is flooded with cheap inferior products through good service, technical backup as well as a solid sales team. We are proud to associated with Norbain and look forward to join you on this new and exciting path.”

Marius Coetzee, MD of Ideco Biometric Security Solutions is delighted for the MBO team at Norbain. Coetzee says, “We have worked closely with Norbain since 2006. Our partnership has made a major contribution to the widespread use of biometric technology in South Africa’s access control and time management market. The exceptional growth in local biometric market would not have happened without Norbain’s commitment to provide practical advice and technical assistance to their network of customers.

“In many ways, Norbain’s success is founded on their outstanding levels of customer support. They understand the importance of actively helping their customers to build their own businesses. I am sure that this commitment to customer service will be a cornerstone of their continued growth and I wish them every success for the future.”

The MBO has left the local company with a very healthy balance sheet, says Rautenbach, putting it in a strong position to not only deliver the service and products the security market requires, but to embark on a number of improvements to its local operations.

Starting out, De Lange is focused on improving the company’s service levels to heights unseen in the local market. Some of the improvements will be a revamped repair centre in the Johannesburg office as well as a central contact centre. In future, customers will have a single number to call for whatever they require, no matter where in the country they are located.

The company’s branch offices will continue their operations as they are, except with a renewed focus on customer service. And while the short-term focus on the company will be on South Africa, the future will see Reditron spreading its wings into Africa. The first forays will be into the neighbouring countries in the medium term, and then further north in the long term.

“Our greatest strength going forward is our people,” adds Oates. “You can have the best products in the market, but if you do not have great people on board you are in trouble. The fact that not one member of staff has left says a lot about their commitment to the company and our customers.”

“We have moved the bureaucracy out of the way, we are motivated and we are piloting our own ship now. The market can expect great things from this company going forward,” concludes De Lange.

For more information contact Norbain SA t/a Reditron, +27 (0)87 802 CCTV (2288), [email protected], www.reditron.co.za



Credit(s)




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Pentagon appointed as Milestone distributor
Elvey Security Technologies News & Events Surveillance
Milestone Systems appointed Pentagon Distribution (an Elvey Group company within the Hudaco Group of Companies) as a distributor. XProtect’s open architecture means no lock-in and the ability to customise the connected video solution that will accomplish the job.

Read more...
SMART Estate Security returns to KZN
Nemtek Electric Fencing Products Technews Publishing Axis Communications SA OneSpace Editor's Choice News & Events Integrated Solutions IoT & Automation
The second SMART Estate Security Conference of 2024 was held in May in KwaZulu-Natal at the Mount Edgecombe Estate Conference Centre, which is located on the Estate’s pristine golf course.

Read more...
From the editor's desk: Just gooi a cable
Technews Publishing News & Events
      Welcome to the 2024 edition of the SMART Estate Security Handbook. We focus on a host of topics, and this year’s issue also has a larger-than-normal Product Showcase section. Perhaps the vendors are ...

Read more...
Secutel wins OSPA Award for Outstanding New Security Product
Secutel Technologies News & Events Access Control & Identity Management
[Sponsored] Secutel Technologies’ NoKey Access Control solution won the Outstanding New Security Product category at the 2024 OSPAs in South Africa. The awards were presented at Securex 2024 where all category finalists were recognised for their contribution to the security industry.

Read more...
ONVIF launches new working groups for cloud, metadata and audio
News & Events Surveillance
ONVIF, the global standardisation initiative for IP-based physical security products, is announcing the formation of three new working groups to tackle standardisation work in cloud connectivity, audio, and advanced metadata.

Read more...
Inaugural Gallagher Security Johannesburg networking roadshow
Gallagher News & Events
Held at Johannesburg’s Foghound Coffee Company in Midrand from 11 to 12 June, security industry professionals gather at the inaugural Gallagher Security Johannesburg Networking Roadshow.

Read more...
Trend Micro launches first security solutions for consumer AI PCs
Information Security News & Events
Trend Micro unveiled its first consumer security solutions tailored to safeguard against emerging threats in the era of AI PCs. Trend will bring these advanced capabilities to consumers in late 2024.

Read more...
Dallmeier receives ISO 27001 certification
Dallmeier Electronic Southern Africa Surveillance News & Events
Dallmeier has received ISO 27001 certification for its Information Security Management System (ISMS). The international standard for information security management ensures that companies meet the highest standards of data protection and data security.

Read more...
Local manufacturing is still on the rise
Hissco Editor's Choice News & Events Security Services & Risk Management
HISSCO International, Africa's largest manufacturer of security X-ray products, has recently secured a multi-continental contract to supply over 55 baggage X-ray screening systems in 10 countries.

Read more...
SAIDSA achieves ISO 9001 certification
SAIDSA(SA Intruder Detection Services Association) Associations News & Events Training & Education
The South African Intruder Detection Services Association (SAIDSA) has announced that it has achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification. This milestone reflects its commitment to quality management and excellence in the security services industry.

Read more...