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Equity Firm Is Frontrunner To Buy CenturyLink Data Centres

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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BC Partners is in the lead to buy CenturyLink’s network of data centres, according to reports

Private equity firm BC Partners is reportedly the frontrunner to buy US communications firm CenturyLink’s data centre network.

Reuters claims BC has fought off competition for a rival consortium which had held talks with Louisana-based CenturyLink but these concluded without a deal in place.

CenturyLink is keen to sell of its data centre infrastructure and hopes to raise as much as $2.5 billion from the transaction. Although it purchased data centre firm Savvis in 2011, it is now less interested in maintaining the assets, as are a number of other telcos with similar holdings.

CenturyLink data centres

interxionHowever, it is claimed the sale process is being complicated by leases the company has with another organisation called Digital Realty Trust, which rents out data centres. The close integration with telecommunications networks is one of the reasons it is considered difficult to sell off data centres.

Verizon is also selling off its own portfolio of data centres, according to reports.

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In total, CenturyLink is looking to shift 59 data centres and has five in the south east of England. These are located in Slough, Reading and London’s Docklands.

“As we stated in our second-quarter earnings call in early August, our strategic review process continues to progress well and we expect to complete the process by the end of this year,” a CenturyLink spokesperson told TechWeekEurope.

“We are exploring a full range of options including, but not limited to, a partnership or joint venture, a sale of all or a portion of the data centers, as well as keeping these assets as part of CenturyLink’s portfolio. During this process, we remain focused on operating our data centers to provide our customers with the high-quality service and support they deserve.”

The company has made significant expansions into Europe and beyond in previous years, including in Australia where it has reached an agreement with independent Data-Centre-as-a-Service provider NEXTDC in 2015.

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