Chinese up shareholding in Global Switch to 51pc by buying another stake from the Reuben Brothers
Global Switch announced on Friday after the market closed (it was a half day ahead of the New Year weekend) that Elegant Jubilee had bought another 2pc stake in Global Switch from the billionaire Reuben Brothers.
Now, that may not sound like earth shattering news but Betaville is always a tad suspicious of companies (and their PR advisers) who make announcements at times like that i.e. there are a lot less eyes around on newsdesks reading press releases and asking awkward questions.
And you once scroll down the "nothing has changed" flannel at the top of Friday's release the company admits that "the transaction will technically result in a change of control, as defined under the terms of the Company's €1 billion Euro Medium Term Note Programme and €600 million 5.50 per cent".
For readers that don't recall, I broke the story in The Sunday Times in August 2016 about how a group of Chinese investors - led by Li Qiang, the founder of China-based data centre company Daily-Tech Beijing - was in advanced talks to buy a 50pc stake in Global Switch as part of a deal that valued the business at around £5 billion. At the time, there was a bit of controversy because Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former foreign secretary, said:
"The Government needs to be satisfied there are no risks involved.”
Several months later the deal was announced, with Elegant Jubilee buying a 49pc stake in Global Switch from the Reuben Brothers for £2.4 billion.
So, Betaville got in touch with spokesperson for Global Switch/the Reuben Brothers to ask whether Elegant Jubilee - led by Li Qiang, the founder of China-based data centre company Daily-Tech Beijing - had effectively taken control of Global Switch by procuring another 2pc. The response was "nothing has changed, nothing has changed, nothing has changed".