Equinix increasing inorganic growth, nabs ancotel

Contact: Ben Kolada, Thejeswi Venkatesh

In its latest geographic consolidation move, colocation giant Equinix announced on Wednesday the acquisition of Frankfurt-based ancotel. Although previously an atypical acquirer, the ancotel buy is Equinix’s second purchase this month, following the pickup of certain assets from Hong Kong-based Asia Tone for $230m. Equinix recently said its dealmaking isn’t done yet. At the Deutsche Bank Securities Media & Telecommunications Conference in February, the company said it plans to place more emphasis on M&A.

Equinix didn’t disclose the price of the acquisition, but did say the valuation is in line with its projected 2012 adjusted EBITDA trading multiple. With a current enterprise value of $9.7bn, Equinix itself is valued at 11 times this year’s projected adjusted EBITDA. Assuming ancotel’s cost structure is similar to Equinix’s, we’d loosely estimate the deal value at $100-110m. Ancotel generated $21.4m in revenue in 2011, with a three-year CAGR north of 20%. The transaction adds a datacenter with 2,100 meters of capacity, 400 network customers, 200 new networks and 6,000 cross connects. Ancotel also has a presence in both London and Hong Kong.

In a departure from its usual practice of making just one acquisition per year, Equinix recently indicated that it intends to use more M&A to fuel growth. The company already dominates the American colocation market, so future M&A activity will likely continue to be overseas. Equinix has a lofty goal of being in 50 markets in the long term, with immediate priorities being India and China. The company has also expressed interest in growing its presence in South Korea and Australia.

Equinix’s international M&A, past five years

Date announced Target Deal value Target headquarters
May 16, 2012 ancotel Not disclosed Frankfurt
May 1, 2012 Asia Tone (certain assets) $230m Hong Kong
February 15, 2011 ALOG Data Centers* $127m Rio de Janeiro
February 6, 2008 Virtu Secure Webservices $22.9m Enschede, Netherlands
June 28, 2007 IXEurope $555m London
January 10, 2007 VSNL International (Tokyo datacenter) $7.5m Tokyo

Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase *90% stake

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