NextDC will have to stump up $280 million or its data centres get sold

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NextDC will have to stump up $280 million or its data centres get sold

NextDC has been given the opportunity to buy back three of its data centres for $280 million or they could be sold off to a third-party.

The board of Asia Pacific Data Centres, the publicly-listed financial trust that owns the three data centres, announced that it would put its property portfolio up for sale. As NextDC is the current tenant, APDC must first offer NextDC the chance to buy the data centres.

APDC was founded in 2013 by NextDC and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange as a way to generate capital recycling. Its sole assets are NextDC's Sydney (S1), Melbourne (M1) and Perth (P1) data centres.

NextDC has been locked in a fight with financial investment firm 360 Capital Group over ownership of the trust since May last year when 360 Capital acquired a 19.8 percent stake in APDC.

[Read more: NextDC vs 360 Capital: how it happened]

In an effort to actively manage APDC as a data centre business, 360 Capital proposed to replace APDC's board of directors with its own members, sparking the battle between the two firms to gain a controlling stake in the trust.

Following an off-market offer to buy up APDC's remaining shares, 360 Capital ended up with a controlling stake with over 65 percent of shares.

NextDC hit back with its own plan to wind up APDC in December, saying it was "concerned" about 360 Capital's previous track record. In particular, NextDC took umbrage with 360 Capital's plan to raise a new $100 million debt facility to fund a security capital distribution to shareholders, saying it would bring APDC's debt to "imprudent levels."

Later that month, APDC's board of directors, which was appointed by 360 Capital, said it was looking to sell the data centre portfolio for $300 million or more, and had already received 50 enquiries about an acquisition. At the time, 360 Capital said it would support a sale above $300 million.

NextDC was again offered the first crack at buying the data centres, but was quick to turn it down, calling the offer an "unjustifiable value promoted by the 360 Capital-appointed board of APDC."

The new $280 million would equate to $2.20 per APDC share. 360 Capital bought the majority of its shares during the off-market offer last year for $1.95 each. Prior to 360 Capital's original share purchase, APDC's shares traded at $1.57 each.

NextDC had previously offered to buy the entire trust for $212 million, or $1.87 per share.

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