NextDC sells stake in APDC

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NextDC sells stake in APDC

To speed up S1, M1 rollouts.

NextDC has sold its stake in the Asia Pacific Data Centre trust in order to accelerate the fit-out of two of its data centres.

APCD, a data centre property fund established by NextDC in July last year, listed on the ASX in January 2013.

The APDC was designed to own the land and buildings operated or being built as NextDC data centres. It was essentially an exercise in capital recycling for NextDC - selling and leasing back properties it had purchased for its data centres, and re-investing the proceeds in data centre fitout and services.

NextDC CEO Craig Scroggie has previously promised APDC would offer investors an attractive yield with the benefit of an “asset backed investment through a single landlord and tenant arrangement”.

NextDC remains the sole tenant of APDC properties during the pair's three-year alliance period. NextDC leased its Melbourne, Sydney and Perth data centres to the trust, with the APDC agreeing to spend an extra $45.5 million developing S1 by May and $23.8 million on P1 by November.

NextDC had held 23 percent of the APDC’s 115 million shares, making it the majority holder. 

The company late yesterday announced it had sold its 26.45 million securities in order to fund an accelerated roll out of its Sydney and Melbourne data centres after signing several big-name customers.

The shares were sold to a combination of organisations and retail investors, APDC CEO Francina Turner told iTnews, with no single large owner. The majority shareholder of the APDC is now the family of NextDC founder Bevan Slattery, which holds 17 percent. 

As of June 6 NextDC had secured the business of Optus, Pacnet, Australia Post and an unnamed “leading corporation” widely believed to be Microsoft on its books. 

The company yesterday said $28.1 million from the sale of the securities would be put towards the accelerated roll out of infrastructure to support new signings.

NextDC plans to add an extra 2.8MW to the 3.1MW in its Sydney data centre in the third quarter of financial year 2014, plus an extra 4MW to the 6MW currently available at its Melbourne facility over the third and fourth quarters of FY14.

Turner said the APDC would continue on as an independent listed vehicle.

"That was always the intention. It was a spin off with the sale and lease-back. We are intrinsically linked with the lease of the assets, but we have quite different capital market features."

The three-year strategic alliance gives the APDC first right of refusal to acquire any assets NextDC purchases and NextDC the right to be a tenant of any asset the APDC purchases.

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