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Chinese consortium buys 49% stake in UK data firm

By Cecily Liu | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-23 07:12

A Chinese consortium has bought a 49 percent stake in British data center company Global Switch for 2.5 billion pounds ($3.09 billion), in a strategic move aimed at sharing data center technology and locations.

The consortium was set up by data center company Daily-Tech Beijing, although the majority of the funding comes from Jiangsu Shagang Group, China's largest private steelmaker.

Wednesday's deal came as Chinese and Western companies expand into each other's markets, creating a big demand to store data in international locations.

The partnership allows both data center companies to follow their clients' expansion footsteps overseas and help them store data in convenient locations.

Global Switch has begun building data centers in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Singapore, using high quality technology to help Daily-Tech Beijing's clients store data.

John Corcoran, CEO of Global Switch, said the investment will help Global Switch's global expansion and, in particular, help it serve Chinese companies expanding overseas and Western companies growing in China.

Founded in 1998, Global Switch now has 10 data centers in Europe and Asia. The company is owned by the billionaire Ruben Brothers, who purchased it in 2004 for reportedly 585 million pounds, but have invested more than 1 billion pounds in expanding the business.

Daily-Tech Beijing was founded in 2009 and now owns five data centers in China, providing data storage for Chinese and multinational companies, including Schneider Electric, Johnson Controls, China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile.

"We believe that bringing together the high quality data centers and operational excellence of Global Switch with the rapidly growing demand from Chinese customers creates a perfect match that will deliver future growth opportunities," said Li Qiang, president of Daily-Tech Beijing.

Alan Barrell, entrepreneur in residence at the University of Cambridge's Judge Business School, said the partnership will help Daily-Tech Beijing achieve a bigger international reach in data handling and storage and help Global Switch to grow its business with the new investment.

"There will also be synergy for technology development, to enable data centers to become ever more efficient and secure and enhance the quality of their offering," Barrell said.

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