GI Partners in advanced talks to buy Peak 10: Reuters

Private equity firm GI Partners is in exclusive talks to acquire Peak 10 Inc in a deal that could value the information technology infrastructure company at between $800 million and $900 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

GI has so far prevailed in an auction for Peak 10 that attracted other private equity firms as well as Cox Enterprises Inc, the privately held media and communications conglomerate, the people said this week.

A deal has not yet been signed and the outcome could still change, the people added, asking not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential.

GI Partners declined to comment, as did Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, the private equity firm that currently owns Peak 10. Representatives of Peak 10 and Cox Enterprises did not respond to requests for comment.

Founded in 2000, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Peak 10 operates data centers and other IT infrastructure that allow companies to store and manage data. Its clients range from banana distributor Chiquita Brands International Inc to professional ice hockey team Florida Panthers.

Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe acquired a majority stake in Peak 10 in 2010 from buyout firms that included Seaport Capital and McCarthy Capital. That deal left Peak 10 co-founder David Jones at the helm of the company as chief executive.

A deal would come after GI Partners announced last month it had raised a $2 billion buyout fund, exceeding its $1.5 billion target. The Menlo Park, California-based firm last year sold cloud computing company SoftLayer Technologies Inc to IBM Corp for around $2 billion.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Soyoung Kim in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)