Jan 7, 2021

Global‌ ‌Switch‌ ‌may‌ ‌sell‌ ‌for‌ ‌$11bn‌

Data Centres
Joanna England
2 min
The Chinese-owned data centre and services provider Global Switch is on the market for a potential new owner
The Chinese-owned data centre and services provider Global Switch is on the market for a potential new owner...

Global Switch, the leading owner, operator and developer of large-scale network dense, carrier and cloud-neutral multi-tenanted data centres in Europe and Asia-Pacific, is up for sale, with a potential price tag of $11bn.

According to a recent report by Bloomberg, Global Switch Holdings Ltd owners, Gillian Tan, Vinicy are “exploring options including a sale that could value the London-based data centre operator at £8bn ($10.9 bn) or more.”

Founded in 1998, Global Switch owns, operates, and develops data centres in Europe and the Asia Pacific. The company's footprint currently spans about 390,000 square metres and its tenants include government organisations, mobile carriers, and financial institutions. The company also posted revenue of about £439mn in 2019.

Currently, Global Switch is controlled by Chinese steelmaker Jiangsu Shagang Group Co. and backed by Avic Trust Co. 

Fallen through

The move follows the recent collapse of a Global Switch sale to a Hong Kong initial public offering in 2019. The incident prompted Shagang to purchase an additional 24% stake in a £1.8bn deal from British billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben, who have been gradually reducing their ownership of the company since 2016. The deal made Shagang the largest shareholder.

So far, no concrete decision on the sale has been disclosed. Global Switch could remain the property of Shagang, and representatives of the firm have declined to comment on the potential sale.

However, in November, Global Switch revealed Shagang Group has plans to transfer its Global Switch stake to its Shenzhen-listed unit, Jiangsu Shagang Co. The move won’t impact Global Switch's strategic direction, the management or financial and operational policies, it said in a statement at the time. Such a divestment would also see Shagang joining other Chinese corporates in unwinding acquisitions of non-core assets they acquired in recent years. 

Data centre companies are increasingly attracting interest from infrastructure-focused private equity firms because of the stable returns and expectations of ongoing growth as businesses increasingly rely on technology.

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Jun 15, 2021

LCL acquires ENGIE Solutions data centre in Gembloux

2 min
LCL acquires the ENGIE solutions data centre in Gembloux in Belgium, the new facility being the company’s first in Wallonia

The data centre company LCL has announced today that it has acquired the ENGIE solutions data centre in Gembloux, Belgium through the acquisition of Cofely data solutions. The new facility, called Wallonia One, is the company’s first facility in Wallonia. As part of the agreement, LCL will take over the management of the facility’s employees as well as the data centre itself. The value of the acquisition is undisclosed. 

LCL says that Wallonia One is its fifth data centre in the Belgian market and its second acquisition, after purchasing the Atos data centre in Huizingen in April last year. Laurens van Reijen, CEO of LCL, said: “With this fifth data centre, we are increasing our presence on the market. Gembloux is located in the heart of the Walloon economy. As a result, LCL Wallonia One offers excellent connection possibilities for the business sites and parks throughout Wallonia. 

“Thanks to our other strategic sites located in the four corners of the Brussels and Antwerp peripheries, we can ensure that any company will have close links with other regions in our country”, van Reijen said. 

Four employees under a fixed contract with Cofely Data Solutions will be joining the LCL team for the acquisition. Remaining part of the LCL Wallonia One, the employees will be under the leadership of their current manager, Nicolas Coppée, LCL said. 

“We warmly welcome our four new colleagues and their support will be effectively integrated,” said Laurens van Reijen. “LCL is still strongly driven by service and quality. We intend not only to build synergies between our five data centres but also to introduce some innovations. Our current team of 37 employees is specialised in data centre services. So this is a win-win-win operation: for the customers of data centres, for ENGIE Solutions, and for LCL”. 

Wallonia One’s “solar park”

LCL also says that the Wallonia One data centre features a solar park to provide power for the facility. The park includes 2,000 photovoltaic panels which generate 1MW of electricity, LCL claims. The centre also has a low Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.25, in line with the company’s sustainability and efficiency objectives. 

Committed to making all of its data centres carbon-neutral by 2030, LCL has created the “Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact” across Europe, which consists of 24 companies and 17 associations. 

In addition to Wallonia One, LCL and ENGIE Solutions have also concluded a collaboration agreement, thus enabling ENGIE Solutions to build new data centres for LCL. There are also plans for ENGIE Solutions to advise LCL on energy efficiency, given ENGIE’s experience in such projects.


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