Ayo Technology Solutions, which signed an agreement last week to buy 30% of British Telecommunications SA (BTSA), said on Tuesday it planned to triple its headcount to more than 600 staff “in the near future”.

Ayo said it would buy the stake in BTSA from associate company African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI) for R990m, effective retrospectively from March.

Ayo and AEEI said JSE-approved independent corporate advisory firm Questco was of the view that the deal was “fair” to Ayo’s shareholders.

The net profit attributable to the 30% stake in BTSA for the year to August 2017 was R474m. AEEI would provide Ayo with a profit warranty for 2018, it said.

Ayo CEO Kevin Hardy said the deal would allow the majority black-owned company to engage with more multinationals, following Ayo’s signing of a multiyear contract with Sasol.

Ayo operates in Africa and Europe, and services healthcare operators and call centres. It also has reseller or supplier agreements with principals such as Nokia, Siemens Networks SA, Microsoft Corporation and IBM, according to the company.

The Public Investment Corporation, which injected R4.3bn into Ayo when it listed in December 2017, said it would scrutinise the transaction in light of “negative media reports”.