GI Partners announced the completion of the merger of its portfolio companies SoftLayer Technologies, the innovative on-demand data services provider, and The Planet, the global leader in IT hosting.
The merger creates the largest private hosting and cloud services provider in the world. Its 24,000 customers in 110 countries will be served by 13 facilities across the United States and Europe that house 76,000 servers under management. The newly combined company will operate under the SoftLayer brand and offer a complete range of solutions, including dedicated and managed hosting, cloud services (including hybrid environments), and colocation. This breadth of offerings, combined with SoftLayer’s advanced networking and automation, will provide customers with new levels of scalability and innovation. Organizations of all sizes, from independent developers to large enterprises, will gain considerable operational value from the flexibility and global infrastructure of the combined company.
This combination represents continued activity by GI Partners in the rapidly-evolving internet infrastructure industry. In August of 2010, GI Partners purchased all of the equity in SoftLayer in partnership with the SoftLayer management team. Since 2006, GI has owned a controlling interest in The Planet. The firm has made several related investments, most notably Digital Realty Trust in 2002, The Telx Group in 2006, and ViaWest in 2010.
Due to GI’s existing ownership positions in SoftLayer and The Planet, the management teams have had significant time to prepare for the transition. “SoftLayer and The Planet come together with a shared and deep commitment to innovation, to excellence, to our teams, and to meeting customers’ needs like no one else,” said Lance Crosby, who will continue as SoftLayer’s Chief Executive Officer. “Those values will continue to guide the new SoftLayer, as we make the transition as seamless — and advantageous — as possible for customers, employees, and all stakeholders.”
Richard Magnuson, Executive Managing Director of GI Partners, said, “The combination of these two powerful platforms creates a global leader with improved scale, accelerated innovation, broader product offerings, complementary strengths, and unparalleled management depth. As active investors in the industry, we look forward to working with Lance and his team to build an even stronger company in the future.”
The debt financing for the transaction, which provides SoftLayer with substantial liquidity to fund growth, was arranged by a syndicate led by SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and RBC Capital Markets, and includes Societe Generale and Bank of America Merrill Lynch as Co-Documentation Agents.
Founded in 2005, SoftLayer provides global, on-demand datacenter and hosting services from facilities across the U.S. We leverage best-in-class connectivity and technology to innovate industry-leading, fully automated solutions that empower enterprises with complete access, control, security, and scalability. With this insightful strategy and our peerless technical execution, we have created the truly virtual data center—and made traditional hosting and managed/unmanaged services obsolete. For more information, visit www.softlayer.com.
About The Planet
The Planet is the leading provider of On Demand IT Infrastructure solutions, hosting more than 18,000 small and medium–sized businesses and 12 million web sites worldwide. Customers have the power to choose from the broadest range of hosting solutions in the industry, from dedicated servers, Essential Managed Services, ManagedHosting and data center colocation, all backed by 24x7x365 support. With the best choice of servers, software tools and world–class service, backed by state-of-the-art data centers and an enterprise-class network, The Planet turns IT into a powerful competitive advantage that enables customers to grow their businesses.
About GI Partners
Established in 2001, GI Partners is a leading private investment firm that focuses on control-oriented investments in asset-backed businesses and properties located in North America and Western Europe. The firm is active in a number of key sectors, including asset-backed IT services, specialty healthcare and education, leisure, commercial real estate, hospitality, retail and financial services. Since inception, the firm has secured $4 billion of capital commitments from recognized institutional private equity and real estate investors in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East. It is currently investing from GI Partners Fund III. For more information, please visit www.gipartners.com.