CenturyLink, Level 3 shareholders ‘overwhelmingly approve’ $34bn merger
By João Marques Lima Published: 23:02, 16 March, 2017 Updated: 23:02, 16 March, 2017
Companies expect to complete deal by September 30, 2017, once full regulatory approval is also received from all necessary US and international bodies.
136 days after CenturyLink officially announced its intention to acquire Level 3 Communications, shareholders at both companies have approved the M&A with only 2.45% voting against.
CenturyLink carried out the vote at its headquarters in Monroe, Louisiana, where support for the deal reached 96.3% with those against counting to 3.7%.
As for Level 3, shareholders also held a meeting at the company’s global headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado. There, 98.8% of the votes cast were voted in favour of approving the merger agreement.
In addition to the approvals by CenturyLink and Level 3 shareholders and previously announced state regulatory approvals and clearances in Ohio, Utah and Nevada, the companies also recently received approvals in Georgia and West Virginia and clearances in Connecticut, Indiana and Louisiana.
In a statement, the two companies said they continue to expect to receive the remaining state, federal and international approvals in time to complete the merger by September 30, 2017.
Upon closing of the transaction, Level 3 stockholders will receive $26.50 per share in cash and 1.4286 shares of CenturyLink stock for each Level 3 share they own.
Upon closing of the transaction, CenturyLink shareholders will own approximately 51%, and Level 3 stockholders will own approximately 49%, of the combined company.
The combined company will be headquartered in Monroe, and will maintain a key operational presence in Colorado and the Denver metropolitan area.
Glen F. Post, III, CEO and president of CenturyLink, said: “The combination of CenturyLink and Level 3 will significantly improve our global network capabilities, creating a company with one of the most robust fiber networks in the world.
“This expanded network should allow us to bring substantial operational and service benefits to our enterprise customers, as well as an enhanced customer experience.”
Rumours around the potential acquisition first emerged on October 27, 2016. It would then take CenturyLink only four days to confirm its intention to buy the whole business of Level 3 Communications in what will become one of the highest M&A in terms of investment in recent years at $34bn.
Following the Halloween announcement, on November 4 also last year, CenturyLink revealed it would be selling its data centre fleet in a transaction estimated at $2.15bn in cash to BC Partners to help fund the deal with Level 3.
Post continued: “We appreciate the strong support from our shareholders for the merger and their recognition of the benefits the combined company will bring.
“We are making solid progress with our regulatory approvals and remain optimistic that the process will continue smoothly with the remaining reviews.”
NTT Communications owns now 100% stake of one of India’s largest data centre players
By João Marques Lima Published: 11:46, 24 March, 2017 Updated: 11:46, 24 March, 2017
Company sets out investment plan of nearly $300m to double capacity in the country as digital services boom.
The rapid M&A wave sweeping the global data centre industry has now been felt in India as Japanese company NTT Communications Corporation (NTT) has been given the go ahead to absorb the whole of India’s data centre colocation provider Netmagic Solutions stake.
NTT owned until now 81.63% of Netmagic. That stake has now been taken to 100% following a transaction where NTT invested $79.13m into buying the remaining 18.37% of the Indian operator.
The acquisition was cleared by the Indian Government this Friday which has consolidated NTT’s place in the Top 10 of global data centre operators by number of facilities at nearly 150.
The approval of the transaction was first pointedly mentioned in a meeting on February 21 by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
Netmagic currently operates seven data centres across India in Mumbai (four hubs), Chennai, Noida and Bengaluru.
NTT has also announced that following the acquisition, it will invest $296.5m into expanding Netmagic’s footprint.
The investment will see the company’s footprint in India grow from today’s 650,000 sqf of data centre capacity to 1.3 million sqf by the end of 2018.
NTT has today a portfolio with nearly 150 data centre facilities across three regions, including North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
The company has data centres in Japan, India, Malaysia, Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, the UK, the US, France, Spain, Austria and Switzerland.
Its global footprint accounts to more than 2.5 million sqft and a power capacity of more than 300 MW.
According to a recent report from Frost & Sullivan, NTT Communications is APAC’s main data centre provider, followed by Jujitsu, Equinix and China telecom.
By 2022, the region’s market, which in 2017 is expected to top $16.27bn, will amount to $31.95bn in colocation and managed services revenues, with colocation accounting to more than 50% of the value.
Brexit countdown. $2bn data centre operator acquires rival’s London facility
By João Marques Lima Published: 11:38, 22 March, 2017 Updated: 11:38, 22 March, 2017
Plans for further expansion due to open in Q3 2017 have also been laid out.
European data centre services provider Zenium has completed the acquisition of Infinity’s Stockley Park data centre in London expanding its fleet to six facilities across the continent.
Zenium, which has in the last 15 years raised over $2bn, has now become the sole owner of the facility which has now been named London Two.
The move comes seven days before the UK government officially triggers Article 50 kicking off the official Brexit negotiations with the EU which will result in the country leaving the union.
London Two has 13.62 MW of IT load and 7,135 sqm of technical space across two floors with Active / Active 11 kV dual redundant power supplies.
Cooling of the facility is done through the use of chillers and adiabatic cooling systems.
Zenium said it will continue to support the existing global telecoms tenant currently colocated on the ground floor, whilst further space to be built will provide 4,016 sqm of technical space with 9.32 MW of IT load on the first floor.
The new data space will be available in Q3 2017. No financials related to the deal have been disclosed.
Franek Sodzawiczny, Founder and CEO at Zenium, said: “The key to staying at the forefront of any sector is to be able to move quickly; responding effectively to business opportunities that arise. This is exactly what we have done here.
“We operate in a fast-moving environment so we need to be agile. We invest a lot of time in this space talking to partners, consultants, competitors and other data centre experts, in order to share learnings.
“Most importantly this also enables us to make the right decisions to propel us forward. We see the UK as an important market and will continue to build our data centre portfolio here as and when the right opportunities are identified.”
Zenium’s has over 15 years designed and delivered over 400,000 sqm of raised floor space.
Its portfolio tops 28,435 sqm of technical space and currently includes a data centre campus comprising three facilities in Istanbul, one data centre in Frankfurt and two data centres in London.
Brazil’s Ascenty secures $190m to become one of LATAM’s giant data centre operators
By João Marques Lima Published: 00:05, 17 March, 2017 Updated: 23:48, 16 March, 2017
Company also unveils a 75% year-on-year growth and opens its fifth facility in São Paulo with several more to come online in the near future.
Brazilian data centre services provider Ascenty has secured $190m to help finance five facilities under construction and further expansion.
The syndicated funding was led by four financial institutions, including ING and Itaú BBA. The company has not disclosed the name of the other two organisations.
In addition to its expansion in the Latin America region, the money, set to be used over a period of five years, will be used to refinance existing debt.
The five new data centres currently being built across region will expand the operator’s footprint by 85%. All facilities expected to open before the end of 2017.
Chris Torto, CEO of Ascenty, said: “We decided to increase our debt financing to allow us to accelerate the company’s expansion into new markets.
“In 2017, we will launch five new data centres, which will be used to help reduce the shortage of high quality technology services across a range of market verticals in Brazil.
“In a time when the country’s economy is being challenged, this new debt financing provides proof of last year’s great results as well as renewed commitment from our banking partners for Ascenty’s healthy expansion.”
Ascenty has also revealed that its business grew 75% in 2016 when compared to 2015.
Torto said: “This growth happened because Ascenty has world class data centre infrastructure and that is the reason why we are the ones to which the main global technology companies in the country go to.”
Following from the growth and financing results, Ascenty has also announced that it has initiated operations at its first data centre in São Paulo and fifth hub in Brazil.
The São Paulo 1 facility had a building cost of $32m and counts with 4,000 sqm of hosting space and 10 MVA of power.
In addition to São Paulo 1, the company operates data centres in Campinas, Jundiaí, Hortolândia and Fortaleza.
However, despite just cutting the ribbon, Ascenty is also building a second data centre, São Paulo 2, which is expected to open in April 2017.
In February, Ascenty announced it will be opening its eight colocation facility in Rio de Janeiro in an investment that is set to reach $48.2m.
Roberto Rio Branco, marketing, institutional and commercial director at Ascenty, said: “Within our expansion plans, the Rio de Janeiro market is extremely important.”
Oak Hill Capital Partners merges FirstLight Fiber with Sovernet Communications to form a 225,000 sqf data centre operator
By João Marques Lima Published: 07:01, 15 March, 2017 Updated: 21:06, 14 March, 2017
This is the group’s third main investment into FirstLight this year alone.
Oak Hill Capital Partners has finalised the acquisition of Sovernet Communications and has announced the intention to merge the company with its fiber business FirstLight Fiber.
The acquisition will combine Sovernet’s high-capacity network transport, broadband Internet, data centre and voice services in Vermont and New York with FirstLight’s complete portfolio of data, Internet, data centre, cloud and voice services, backed by highly responsive, locally-based customer support.
Sovernet’s portfolio will add to the FirstLight infrastructure footprint approximately 3,300 fiber route miles across New York, 1,300 fiber route miles throughout Vermont, and a Tier III data centre in Burlington, Vermont.
The acquisition of Sovernet is Oak Hill Capital Partners’ second main investment into expanding FirstLight’s portfolio with more to come.
In January, the company acquired Oxford Networks and recently it has announced the acquisition of Finger Lakes Technologies Group.
Financial details have not been disclosed for any of the three transactions.
With the merger of the Sovernet, Oxford Networks and Finger Lakes Technologies, FirstLight will soon operate a regional network consisting of approximately 12,000 route miles of high-capacity fiber in six states and Canada, with more than 7,000 on-net locations and 12 data centres totalling more than 225,000 square feet of space.
Scott Baker and Benjy Diesbach, Partners at Oak Hill and members of the FirstLight Board of Directors, said: “The acquisition of Sovernet, combined with the recent Oxford and Finger Lakes transactions, is strategically significant and demonstrates FirstLight and Oak Hill’s shared vision of creating the most extensive fiber-based communications services provider operating in the Northeast.”
Kurt Van Wagenen, President and CEO of FirstLight, said: “The successful acquisition of Sovernet, which includes its New York ION network, substantially increases our fiber density and reach allowing us to better serve our existing customers while expanding into new markets as well.”
Q Advisors LLC served as financial advisor to ATN International, Inc., the parent company of Sovernet, and Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, PC acted as legal counsel. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal counsel to FirstLight and Oak Hill.