NextDC will be offered a chance to buy back the physical properties housing its Sydney, Melbourne and Perth data centres for $280 million, but has indicated it is not interested in the offer.
The property trust set up to manage the buildings, Asia Pacific Data Centre, said in a financial filing that it had “exchanged non binding letters” with an undisclosed third party to purchase the entire data centre portfolio.
The $280 million “agreed price” comes out at about $2.20 per security, APDC said.
However, under the lease agreements for the buildings, NextDC has 20 days to buy out the buildings for the same price, before any deal with a third party can be pursued.
APDC said it would issue NextDC “with a first right of refusal notice to purchase the entire portfolio of APDC data centres for $280 million as soon as possible”.
NextDC has previously rejected an offer to buy the buildings and land for $300 million, which it argued was an “unjustifiable” valuation.
The new offer is also considerably higher than NextDC’s last offer to take over APDC, which lapsed in September last year.
NextDC had offered $1.87 per security in an all-cash transaction at the time.
NextDC created APDC in December 2012 and listed the $207 million property trust early in 2013. It took long-term leases on the buildings, which house its first three data centres.
APDC was essentially an exercise in capital recycling for NextDC, a way of raising money that could be re-invested in data centre fitout and expansion.
But NextDC has been locked in a battle since last year for ownership and control of APDC.
The latest sale offer by APDC comes at a time when speculation is mounting over whether NextDC itself may be taken over.
The Australian reported this week that Singapore’s Temasek Holdings is circling NextDC, and private equity firm Blackstone Group is also reportedly interested.
Update 14/2/18: NextDC has indicated it is not interested in the $280 million offer.
In an update to the market it said it had not yet received the right of first refusal notice, but it was "not currently prepared to acquire the APDC Trust's assets at a $280 million price".
"In the meantime, NextDC continues to proceed with its proposal to wind up the APDC Trust, and the related court proceedings," it said in a statement.