NextDC hires capital raising experts, mulls IPO

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NextDC hires capital raising experts, mulls IPO

Slattery calls in old friends for data centre business

Three former Pipe Networks directors have agreed to join Bevan Slattery on his latest business venture building carrier-neutral data centres, NextDC.

By the end of this week, Pipe's former CFO Robin Khuda will take a hands-on role with the new company as an executive director after finishing his time at Pipe's acquistive owner, TPG.

Joining Slattery and Khuda at the start-up will be former Pipe Networks chairman Roger Clarke and former Pipe independent director Greg Baynton. Slattery, Clarke and Bayton will be employed as non-executive directors of Next DC.

The three additions to the company all have equity-raising experience and will work to raise additional finance to the $20 million Slattery has already earmarked for the company. Clarke is chairman of the board of RBS Morgans Ltd, while Baynton is managing director of Orbit Capital.

As chief financial officer for Pipe Networks, Khuda's role was specifically to canvass options for the future of the company prior to TPG's $373 million acquistion of the dark fibre specialists. These options had at one stage included making acquistions - such a mooted buy of Amcom - through to being acquired by a larger firm.

From next week, Khuda will look after the "day to day management" of Next DC whilst Slattery completes his term with TPG, which ends at the end of March 2011.

Khuda has also some experience in the data centre industry as a former manager of Fujitsu's data centre and managed services business.

Khuda told iTnews that his role will be to fund the company's expansion beyond two builds in Melbourne and Brisbane.

"Our plan is to build data centres nationally, in places like Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, perhaps Auckland," he said.  "We will be investing a fair bit of money and taking on a bit of debt."

Khuda expects the experience of his peers on the Next DC board - and Slattery's track record of building successful companies - will make the company an attractive option for investors.

One option is an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to list on the Australian Stock Exchange. 

"We are exploring a number of options, and listing is one of them," Khuda said. "We will be making a decision within a month or two. 

"This will be a capitally-intensive business, being listed gives you funding from both the banks and shareholders - so in some ways its the easier option."

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