Ayo Technology Solutions says it has signed a multiyear information and communication technology services contract with Sasol.

The majority black-owned information and communication technology company, which listed in December despite scepticism about its lofty valuation and ambitious growth forecasts, said it would provide and manage Sasol’s entire global technology network, communications and security services from SA.

While Ayo did not disclose the deal’s value, indications were that the contract would be for more than R2bn, said Anthony Clark, an analyst at Vunani Securities.

"When the company listed there was a very aggressive forecast in the PLS [prelisting statement] which many thought would not materialise…. But blue-chip royalty Sasol must have conducted quite stringent due diligence on the company in order to award it such a significant deal, and that places validity on the Ayo business model," Clark said.

He expected more large contracts to be announced over the coming months.

Ayo CEO Kevin Hardy said more than 50 staff members would manage the contract from Durban, Sasolburg, Johannesburg and Secunda.

The contract also covered Sasol’s operations in Eurasia and the Americas, Hardy said.

Ayo said it might also participate in Sasol’s "digital transformation plans", while the deal would contribute to Sasol’s transformation objectives.

This was the first major contract Ayo has finalised since listing. The company said the deal was expected to have a material impact on its revenue and earnings.

A single trade pushed Ayo’s shares 8.8% lower to R26 following the announcement. Ayo, which has a 30% stake in the South African arm of British Telecoms, said last week operating profits rose 55% to R45m in the six months to February.