Telecom cloud, CSPs, Enterprise, Mergers and Acquisitions

CenturyLink Data Center Sale: BC Partners Still Bidding?

Business meeting

BC Partners, a private equity firm, is attempting to buy CenturyLink's data center business, but the sale process may be complicated by Digital Realty Trust lease agreements, according to Reuters. CenturyLink has previously indicated that it hopes to solidify a data center sale by early Q4.

BC Partners, which launched about 30 years ago, focuses most of its acquisitions in Europe but has made U.S.-based buyouts. Current holdings include SuddenLink, the seventh largest cable operator in the U.S., and PetSmart, the largest specialty retailer for pets in the U.S. I don't believe BC Partners currently owns IT-centric data center businesses.

CenturyLink had been negotiating with another group of private equity firms, but talks with those companies apparently ended, Reuters claims. It's also unclear if BC Partners will reach a deal to buy CenturyLink's data centers, the report said. ChannelE2E reached out to CenturyLink and BC Partners for comment but had not received one as of this writing.

Telcos Retreat to Network Services

CenturyLink and many of its telco rivals once hoped to compete head-on the cloud services provider market. But the telco industry's corporate culture couldn't keep pace vs. fast-moving rivals like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Verizon, similar to CenturyLink, also is negotiating to potentially sell its data centers. A potential Verizon deal with Equinix has been rumored in recent days.

Many telecom companies are doubling down on network-oriented services rather than cloud data centers. Just last week, AT&T announced partnerships with IBM Cloud and Amazon Web Services while also continuing to build out its partner program.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.