Speculation about imminent public offerings and acquisitions among leading providers is a constant in the data center business. It looks like one of those long-rumored IPOs may be closer to materializing.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that QTS (Quality Technology Services) is planning to pursue an IPO, citing "people with knowledge of the matter," who say the company is working with Goldman Sachs and Jefferies Group on the offering.
QTS declined comment. “As a privately held company, QTS does not discuss rumors or speculation about future financial transactions or events,” the company said. It made a similar statement earlier this year in response to reports that QTS was seeking to convert to a real estate investment trust (REIT), a move that could make the company more attractive to investors. The IRS is currently reviewing its rules for REIT conversions for data centers and other newer real estate property classes.
Bloomberg said QTS has made a confidential filing with U.S. securities regulators and may release information to investors prior to an IPO later this year. This process would be similar to that followed by Interxion prior to its public offering in 2011.
A National Footprint Built Via Acquisitions
QTS (Quality Technology Services) was founded in 2005, and has grown from a single facility in Kansas to a national chain operating more than 3.8 million square feet of data center space, including several of the largest facilities in the industry. QTS is the leading provider in the Atlanta market, where it operates a huge data center downtown and also has a major data center in the suburb of Suwanee. The company also has data centers in Miami; Richmond, Va.; Jersey City, N.J.; Dallas; Sacramento, Calif.; Santa Clara, Calif.; and thnree facilities in Kansas.
QTS is part of the Quality Group of Companies, founded in 1962 by James Williams and is now headed by his son, Chad Williams. QTS has grown through acquisitions, and in 2009 announced a $150 million investment from private equity firm General Atlantic, a veteran player in the Internet infrastructure space. Earlier this year the company boosted its credit line to $575 million, and acquired a massive facility in Dallas as well as the former Herakles data center in Sacramento.
QTS is distinctive in that it provides a broad spectrum of data center services, including wholesale retail space, retail colocation, and managed hosting. Its large floorplates in Atlanta, Richmond and Dallas provide QTS with unusual flexibility in configuring space and provisioning power for its customers.
Earlier this week the company introduced a website failover service, in which it will help customers monitor response time and configure DNS settings to manage a smooth transition in the event of an outage or sluggish response.
Here's a look at QTS' data center footprint (Click the image for a larger version):