Asian consortium pays €2.4b to buy into data centre specialist ahead of IPO

A consortium of six Asian institutional and private investors has acquired a 25% stake in European data centre developer and landlord Global Switch for £2.1 bn (€2.4 bn) in cash.

The Strategic IDC consortium includes follow-on investment from existing Global Switch institutional and private investors including Avic Trust and the Hong Kong investment arms of Haoyue Capital and Jiangsu Sha Steel Group, the largest private steel maker in China, as well as the introduction of new stakeholders including the Hong Kong regulated China CITIC Bank International, which is providing debt funding to Strategic IDC. 

As part of the transaction, Li Qiang, the chairman of Global Switch, will increase his personal stake in Global Switch from 0.7% to 4.8%.

The investment by Strategic IDC comes a few months ahead of Global Switch's  public listing planned for next year on an international stock exchange in Europe, Asia or North America. Global Switch’s new and existing shareholders will continue to retain stakes in the company in the event of any future IPO.
They include Aldersgate Investments, a Reuben Brothers company, with a 24% stake, and Elegant Jubilee, a consortium of institutional and private investors from Asia, which holds 51%.

The company, which operates 340,000 m2 of data centres in Europe and Asia Pacific, said there will be no change to its strategic direction, management or financial and operational policies as a result of the transaction.
Planned listing
John Corcoran, CEO of Global Switch, said: 'This investment from both new and existing investors, is a clear endorsement of our strategy as we move towards listing Global Switch on an international stock exchange and seek to successfully extend our market leadership positions across Europe and Asia as the data centre provider of choice for new customers from across the globe. We remain proud of our track record in delivering best in class, mission critical data centre infrastructure, world class security and flexibility for all our customers and this remains our priority as we continue to execute on our profitable growth strategy.'
Ge Yajing, director of Strategic IDC, said: 'We’re thrilled to be investing in Global Switch, which is now one of the leading data centre companies in the world. The company’s strong and experienced management team, operational excellence and leading strategic position in Europe and Asia present incredible strategic growth opportunities, particularly in China, where the company is already playing a critical role in delivering services to both national and international customers in Hong Kong as part of China’s Belt and Road initiative.'
Global Switch's Qiang said that 'the investment from Strategic IDC is a testament to both the quality of the company and the tremendous strategic progress Global Switch has continued to make over the last twelve months'.

'This includes the launch in December 2017 of Stage 1 of a new state of the art HK$5 bn data centre in Hong Kong, two new €500 mln bond issuances and significant progress with the construction of Singapore Woodlands, Global Switch’s second data centre in that location and the formation of a game-changing, co-operational agreement with China Telecom Global and Daily-Tech, the leading developer and operator of data centre infrastructure across China,' he added.


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