SoftLayer and The Planet Merger Completed

(Ping! Zine) – GI Partners today 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.