27 December2009 – The Sunday Times
THE billionaire Reuben brothers have revived plans to float their fast-growing data-centre company, Global Switch.
David and Simon Reuben are in talks with banks including Barclays, HSBC, Deutsche and Credit Suisse about listing the business in the third quarter of next year, in a float valuing the company at more than £2.7 billion.
The value of Global Switch has soared by more than £1 billion in the past 12 months alone, making it one of the Reuben brothers’ most profitable investments.
The brothers have twice before considered listing the company, but decided against going ahead during the credit crunch.
A successful float would help to repair the battered finances of the Reubens. The brothers, the ninth-richest entrepreneurs in Britain, according to the last Sunday Times Rich List, saw their fortune slump by £1.8 billion to £2.5 billion during the credit crunch.
Data centres house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems, and they have enjoyed huge growth during the past three years. The strong performance has been spurred by regulatory requirements that have increased the need for companies to retain more data and back-up IT facilities as part of their disaster recovery plans.
Global Switch has centres in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid, Sydney and Singapore, covering almost 3m sq ft. It lets space to big blue-chip companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Shell and BP.
The business has less than £80m of debt and is on track to generate underlying earnings of £175m in the 2010-11 financial year. That figure is expected to grow to £235m by the following year.