Chinese steel giant Jiangsu Shagang Group has bought 24 percent of data center operator Global Switch, and become the biggest stakeholder in the company, a leading independent carrier-neutral colocation provider. Shagang is now completely under Chinese ownership.
Aldersgate Investments (a Reuben Brothers company) sold its final stake in Global Switch for £1.8 billion ($2.2bn or 15.8bn yuan) this week, completing a process begun in 2016 when the investors began to sell the company to Chinese consortia backed by Shagang Group. With its new purchase, Shagang Group now has a 49.9 percent share of Global Switch.
Global Switch has been under Chinese control since the beginning of 2018, when property investors the Reuben Brothers sold a controlling stake to a consortium of Chinese companies including Shagang Group. The switch to Chinese ownership has been bought at a total cost of £6.3 billion ($7.7bn or 56bn yuan) .
Reuben Brothers had bought Global Switch in 2007 as a loss-making business and grown it aggressively through its Aldersgate subsidiary. It now has 12 data centers in Europe and APAC, with four more under construction, and plans to double the total power capacity of its facilities.
Reuben Brothers sold 49 percent of Global Switch in 2016 to the Shagang-backed Elegant Jubilee consortium, and then sold a further two percent at the beginning of 2018, giving the consortium control of the operator. A further quarter was sold to another Shagang-backed consortium during 2018, before the final stake was sold this week.
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