By Amy-Jo Crowley and Kane Wu
LONDON/HONG KONG, March 17 (Reuters) - C hinese-controlled international data centre provider Global Switch is still in talks with private equity firm EQT about a sale, three people with knowledge of the deal told Reuters.
The UK-based company, controlled by Chinese steelmaker Jiangsu Shagang Group, kicked off a sale process in mid-2022 but discussions have yet to materialize.
There was a gap between suitors and shareholders in their valuation of the company, people with knowledge of the process have told Reuters.
Global Switch had expected a sale to value it at around $10 billion but final bidders had valued the company at around $8 billion including debt, Reuters reported in December.
EQT remains interested in exploring a deal but there is no certainty the two sides will reach an agreement, said the three sources, who all declined to be identified as the information was confidential.
PAG and KKR & Co were also among final bidders in the process, sources have said.
Global Switch and EQT declined to comment.
Jiangsu Shagang did not respond to a request for comment.
Global Switch said in June last year its shareholders were exploring a potential divestment and that they had appointed JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, UBS and CITIC Securities to advise on the sale.
Morgan Stanley and UBS declined to comment while JPMorgan and CITIC Securities did not respond to requests for comment.
Founded in 1998, Global Switch operates 13 data centres across Europe and Asia Pacific.
Jiangsu Shagang first invested indirectly in 2016, and became its largest shareholder in 2019 after acquiring a further 24% stake for 1.8 billion pounds, according to a Global Switch announcement at the time. That would translate into a valuation of 7.5 billion pound ($9.1 billion). (Reporting by Amy-Jo Crawley in London and Kane Wu in Hong Kong; additional reporting by Roxanne Liu in Beijing; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)