Equinix Inc. (EQIX) has raised its bid for IXEurope in response to a competing offer from another bidder, the companies said today. Equinix' new offer of 140 pence per share improves on the original terms of 125 pence, and lifts the value of the deal by $83 million to about $555 million (270.1 million pounds).
The other bidder was not identified. A Geneva-based investment group, Archand Sarl, has been actively accumulating shares of IXEurope and has a stake exceeding 5 percent, according to company reports. In Thursday trading on the London Stock Exchange, IXEurope shares rose more than 14 percent to 141.25 pence at midday, slightly above the revised offer price.
A press release from Equinix said that the company "has now received hard irrevocable undertakings from the IXEurope directors and from shareholders who together hold approximately 67 percent of the existing issued ordinary share capital of IXEurope to vote in favor of the resolutions to approve the acquisition."
"The announcement of our intention to acquire IXEurope three weeks ago created additional interest in the company and an unsolicited approach from another company," said Steve Smith, CEO of Equinix. "The acquisition of IXEurope by Equinix will solidify Equinix's position as the world's market leading colocation provider with high-quality data centers across the United States, Asia-Pacific and Europe and is strategic to our growth. This announcement today secures our acquisition plan at a fair and equitable price."
"We believe that Equinix's offer is a good deal for IXEurope shareholders," said Guy Willner, CEO of IXEurope. "The directors of IXEurope have unanimously agreed to recommend that IXEurope shareholders vote in favor of it."
Archand Sarl first reported its position in IXEurope on July 4, when it held 6 million shares. By July 14, that stake had grown to 9.13 million shares, meaning the company had accumulated 3.1 million shares in the previous week. A separate financial filing on July 9 indicates ING Bank NV owns 9.45 million shares, a stake of approximately 5.22 percent. ING says the position is a "hedged CFD (contract for differences) written on behalf of ING Bank NV's underlying client."