Chinese steel maker picks additional 24% stake in Global Switch ahead of IPO

Chinese steel maker Jiangsu Shagang Group Co Ltd bought a further 24% stake in Global Switch Holdings for 1.8 billion pounds ($2.21 billion), making it the largest shareholder with a 49% stake, the UK-based data center operator said on Tuesday.

Adds details on IPO, management changes

Aug 27 (Reuters) - Chinese steel maker Jiangsu Shagang Group Co Ltd JSSGG.UL bought a further 24% stake in Global Switch Holdings REUBEG.UL for 1.8 billion pounds ($2.21 billion), making it the largest shareholder with a 49% stake, the UK-based data center operator said on Tuesday.

Global Switch, which is moving towards an IPO, said the Shagang Group confirmed there will be no changes to the company's strategic direction, management or financial and operational policies.

Shagang Group representatives, He Chunsheng, Nie Wei and Shen Qian, will be appointed to Global Switch's board as non-executive directors, while its CEO and finance chief will remain as executive directors of the company.

The additional stake was acquired from Aldersgate Investments Limited, a Reuben Brothers company. Simon Reuben and Alexander Bushaev, representatives of Aldersgate Investments, will leave the Global Switch board.

"This follow-on investment by Shagang Group is also a further endorsement of our strategy and the exciting future at Global Switch as we move towards an IPO on a major international stock exchange," Global Switch Chief Executive Officer John Corcoran said.

Global Switch has chosen CLSA, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan as sponsors for its Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) of up to $1 billion, Reuters reported earlier this year.

Bankers in Asia are betting on newly-listed companies returning to the markets for fresh capital as last year's flood of initial public offerings (IPOs) slow to a trickle, with 2019 seeing the weakest start in equity sales in three years.

Global Switch said there will be no change to financing arrangements as a result of the deal.

Founded in 1998, Global Switch operates 12 data centers across Europe and Asia, including in Hong Kong and Singapore.

($1 = 0.8145 pounds)

(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

((tanishaa.nadkar@thomsonreuters.com; Within UK +44 20 7542 1810; Outside UK +91 80 6749 1691; Reuters Messaging: tanishaa.nadkar.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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