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Security technology group ISA Holdings came to the market via a reverse listing in 2005, a handful of years after a slew of ambitious countermates fizzled most frighteningly. Some older readers will recall (with a wince) the aftermath of the late 1990s listings boom, with the demise of short-lived listings such as Prism Holdings, Idion Technology, Ixchange, MBtech, Intervid and Enterprise Outsourcing causing consternation among retail investors. ISA bravely reversed into left-for-dead technology listing Y3K, and was understandably ignored by a fearful market. But the company shrugged off this aloofness, maintaining a single focus on its security niche to build a rock-solid operating platform. Still, compared with the handful of surviving tech listings from the late 1990s, ISA looks a real Cinderella. Net1 UEPS, EOH, Mustek and Alviva turn over many billions of rands, having adapted their business models with mergers and acquisitions. ISA, on the other hand, has not pursued M&A with ...

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