NextDC pushed to buy back its own data centres

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NextDC pushed to buy back its own data centres

NextDC has offered to buy the property trust that owns three of its data centres to fend off a rival proposal from investment firm 360 Capital Group.

The data centre operator put forward a proposal to acquire the remaining shares it doesn’t already own in Asia Pacific Data Centre Group for $1.85 each, beating 360 Capital's offer of $1.80 each.

NextDC's offer represents an 18.2 percent premium over APDC's closing share price of $1.565 on 1 May, the day before 360 Capital bought its initial 19.9 percent stake in the trust. NextDC has since upped its stake to 18.6 percent, which it acquired for $38.2 million.

NextDC chief executive Craig Scroggie said the acquisition was low risk, as the properties were well known to the company. APDC was spun off from NextDC in 2013 and trades on the ASX as AJD. Its sole properties are occupied for three NextDC data centres – Sydney (S1), Melbourne (M1) and Perth (P1). The trust is valued at $207 million.

NextDC, APDC and 360 Capital have been locked in a battle of ownership of the trust. Last month, 360 Capital propsed to replace APDC's board of directors with its own members so it could take a hands-on management position and invest in the data centre market in Asia-Pacific. Next DC bought a 14.1 percent stake in APDC in response to block an upcoming vote to replace the directors.

360 Capital then offered to buy APDC's remaining shares it didn't already own for $1.80 each and removed the caveat of replacing the board of directors.

APDC said it has provided information 360 Capital to conduct due diligence, but would not make a comment on the merits proposal. APDC said it still recommends voting against 360 Capital's proposal to replace the board of directors.

NextDC's Scroggie said 360 Capital's proposal was "contrary to good corporate governance principles a well as the interests of AJD security holders".

Shareholders will vote to replace APDC's board of directors on Friday. Both APDC and NextDC said they would vote against the proposal.

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