June 7 (Reuters) - Investment firm Blackstone Group Inc
said on Monday it would take data center operator QTS
Realty Trust Inc private in an all-cash deal worth about
Blackstone Funds, the buyout firm's infrastructure unit
along with its non-traded real-estate income trust and other
long-term perpetual capital vehicles, will pay $78 per share,
which represents a premium of about 21% to QTS' closing price on
Shares of QTS rose about 21% to hit a record high of $78.24.
The equity value of the deal stands at $5.37 billion,
according to Reuters calculations, based on 68.9 million
outstanding shares, as of April 29.
A COVID-19 pandemic-led remote working environment boosted
demand for cloud services, which are reliant on data centers.
QTS has more than 7 million square feet of data center space
throughout North America and Europe.
The $10-billion transaction, which is expected to close in
the second half of this year, includes the assumption of the
data center operator's existing debt.
The deal also includes a 40-day go-shop period, which will
let QTS solicit and consider other proposals, the companies
Jefferies and Morgan Stanley were financial advisers to QTS,
while Citigroup Global Markets, Barclays, Deutsche Bank
Securities and Goldman Sachs advised Blackstone.
The deal was first reported by the Wall Street Journal
earlier in the day.
(Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren