04 July 2018
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
Data centre operator Global Switch is now valued at more than £8 billion after a consortium of Asian investors took a 24.99% stake for £2.1 billion.
The investment is by Strategic IDC
– nothing to do with the market research company IDC,
but a consortium of existing investors, mainly from China, plus
new shareholders including China CITIC Bank International,
which is providing debt funding to Strategic IDC.
Global Switch CEO John Corcoran 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 company said there will be no change to its strategic
direction, management or financial and operational policies.
The investment is seen as a precursor to a plan by Global
Switch to seek a stock market quotation next year. Global
Switch says it will be "on a leading international stock
exchange in Europe, Asia or North America" and adds the
"subject to market conditions" proviso.
Global Switch makes the point that it "is essentially a real
estate company", adding: "It simply builds and operates high
quality, technical real estate with the right power, cooling
and physical security required by IT service providers."
The controlling shareholder, with a 51% stake, is a company
called Elegant Jubilee, a consortium of institutional and
private investors from Asia that came into the business in
December 2016. The other 24.01% belongs to Aldersgate
Investments, a vehicle of private equity investors Reuben
Brothers, whose other interests include property companies
racecourses, pub companies and an airport and a heliport.
The new investment is made up of £1.8 billion for the
shares in Global Switch and £300 million to Aldersgate
Investments. 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%. He said: "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 12 months."
Aldersgate Investments director Alexander Bushaev said: "Having
first invested in Global Switch in 2006 and supported its
global growth and development during that time, we are very
pleased to see the company going from strength to strength more
than 12 years on."