Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) has agreed to acquire Switch & Data Facilities Co. (Nasdaq: SDXC) for approximately $689 million in cash and stock. The deal is expected to close in Q1 2010. Switch & Data had raised private equity funding before going public in 2007, and PE backers CapStreet Group and Seaport Capital still hold minority stakes.
Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), a provider of global data center services, and Switch & Data Facilities Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: SDXC), a leading provider of data center and Internet exchange services, have entered a definitive agreement for Equinix to acquire Switch and Data in a transaction valued at approximately $689 million in cash and stock, based on yesterday’s market close. The combination of the two companies will further strengthen Equinix’s leadership position in the global data center services market by extending the company’s presence to 16 new markets across North America. Equinix will integrate Switch and Data’s data center business and operations, including the company’s 34 data centers in 22 markets in the U.S. and Canada. The acquisition will add more than one million gross square feet of data center capacity, bringing Equinix’s total global footprint to 79 data centers in 34 markets and more than six million square feet across the North American, European and Asia-Pacific markets. It will allow Equinix to immediately expand into new strategic markets, including Atlanta, Denver, Miami, Seattle and Toronto, as well as provide a platform for future expansion of Switch and Data assets.
The acquisition will help the companies’ customers respond to two broad market trends. The rapid growth of demand for online information is requiring companies to store and distribute larger volumes of latency sensitive assets and applications at the network edge, near local population centers. At the same time, the market compels companies to develop global aggregation and distribution strategies for their digital assets and applications. The transaction is expected to give Equinix customers broader access to local markets for their network edge deployments, and Switch and Data customers a comprehensive solution to their global data center needs. The customers of both companies will benefit from a stronger product portfolio and capacity pipeline in a market where demand continues to outpace supply, and from doing business with a partner that brings together the capabilities of two companies with strong reputations for operational excellence and high customer satisfaction.
“The strategic acquisition of Switch and Data by Equinix further strengthens Equinix’s position as the most comprehensive global data center services provider across North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe,” said Steve Smith, president and CEO of Equinix. “Our complementary business models, coupled with Switch and Data’s broad North American market coverage, provide a platform for strong growth as well as an opportunity to accommodate our customers’ demands for additional services.”
“For more than a decade, Switch and Data has provided colocation and data center services to support the needs of the world’s leading online brands,” said Keith Olsen, president and CEO of Switch and Data. “These businesses rely on Switch and Data to provide secure locations for them to connect and safeguard their mission-critical applications. The combination of Switch and Data’s North American site footprint and Equinix’s global reach will increase our addressable market, enhance our customers’ value, and drive incremental value to our stockholders.”
The parties are targeting completion of the transaction in the first quarter of 2010. The transaction will be subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of Switch and Data’s stockholders and regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to qualify as a tax-free exchange to Switch and Data’s stockholders with respect to the stock portion of the merger consideration. Equinix was advised by J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. Switch and Data’s lead financial advisor for the transaction was Piper Jaffray & Co., and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and RBC Capital Markets served as co-advisors; Switch and Data’s legal advisor was Holland & Knight LLP. Raymond James & Associates, Inc. provided a fairness opinion to Switch and Data’s Board of Directors with respect to this transaction.
Financial Terms of the Transaction
Under the terms of the agreement, Switch and Data stockholders will have the opportunity to elect to receive either 0.19409 shares of Equinix stock or $19.06 in cash for each share of Switch and Data stock. The overall consideration to be paid by Equinix in the acquisition will be 80% Equinix stock, 20% cash. In the event that holders of more than 80% of Switch and Data’s stock elect to receive Equinix stock or holders of more than 20% of Switch and Data’s stock elect to receive cash, the merger consideration will be pro-rated to achieve these proportions. In addition, a portion of the cash consideration payable to Switch and Data stockholders may be replaced by an equivalent amount of Equinix stock to the extent necessary to enable the transaction to qualify as a tax-free exchange. The cash portion of the merger consideration will be financed through Equinix’s existing cash on hand. Switch and Data’s directors, executive officers and certain of its significant stockholders have agreed to vote shares representing 35% of Switch and Data’s outstanding stock in favor of the transaction.
Equinix will hold an investor conference call today at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time (2:30 p.m. Pacific Time). Switch and Data President and CEO Keith Olsen will join Equinix President and CEO Steve Smith on the call to discuss the details of this announcement. To hear the conference call live, please dial 1-773-756-4788 (domestic and international) and reference the passcode (EQIX). A simultaneous live Webcast of the call will be available over the Internet at www.equinix.com, under the Investors heading.
A replay of the call will be available beginning on Wednesday, October 21, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. (ET) through November 21, 2009 by dialing 1-203-369-1619. In addition, the Webcast will be available on the company’s Web site at www.equinix.com.
Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) provides global data center services that ensure the vitality of the information-driven world. Global enterprises, content and financial companies, and more than 350 network service providers rely upon Equinix’s insight and expertise to protect and connect their most valued information assets. Equinix operates 45 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers across 18 markets in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Important information about Equinix is routinely posted on the investor relations page of its website located at www.equinix.com/investors. We encourage you to check Equinix’s website regularly for the most up-to-date information.
About Switch and Data
Switch and Data is a premier provider of data centers that house, power and interconnect the Internet. Leading content companies, enterprises and communications service providers rely on Switch and Data to connect to customers and exchange Internet traffic. Switch and Data has built a reputation for world-class service, delivered across the broadest colocation footprint and richest network of interconnections in North America. Switch and Data operates 34 sites in the U.S. and Canada, provides one of the highest customer satisfaction scores for technical and engineering support in the industry, and is home to PAIX® — the world’s first commercial Internet exchange, www.switchanddata.com.