Asian consortium in talks to buy stake in data centre operator Global Switch

Its owners, the Reuben brothers, were in advanced talks for a 5 billion pound ($6.7 billion) deal to sell half of the company to a consortium led by Chinese firm Daily Tech.

By: Reuters | London | Updated: September 4, 2016 7:55 pm

Data centre operator Global Switch, owned by Britain’s billionaire Reuben brothers, said on Sunday its parent company was in talks with a consortium of Asian investors about a potential sale of a stake in the business.

The Sunday Times reported the brothers were in advanced talks for a 5 billion pound ($6.7 billion) deal to sell half of the company to a consortium led by Chinese firm Daily Tech and which includes a private financial subsidiary of state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

The newspaper said senior British politicians, including former foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind, had raised concerns about security risks if the sale went ahead.

Global Switch develops and operates data centres in Europe and Asia. The centres house IT servers for clients including government organisations, financial institutions and telecoms firms.

Global Switch said in a statement its parent company, Aldersgate Investments Limited, was in talks with “a consortium of high quality private sector Asian investors about a potential investment”.

“If the investment is concluded by the consortium, there will be no change to the management or strategic direction of Global Switch. Aldersgate Investments Limited and the consortium will exercise joint control of Global Switch,” the company said.

On Sunday, British Prime Minister Theresa May said she wanted her security advisers to help review a delayed nuclear power investment from China.

Global Switch said there were no security issues relating to its possible transaction.

“This is a potential financial investment into a real estate company. The investors will have no involvement in the operations or management of the company,” it said.

“Global Switch has no access to customer data whatsoever and only provides space, power, cooling and physical security. Global Switch provides no IT services for its customers.”