Milestone Capital completes the sale of IXEurope plc

Milestone Capital Partners Limited has successfully completed the sale of IXEurope plc to Equinix Inc for a consideration of 140p per share, valuing the entire share capital of the Company at £250m (€358m)

The sum of £79m (€113m) received by Milestone for its 31% stake in the Company represents a return of 2.9x in pounds sterling (2.6x in euros) over its original investment.

IXEurope is a datacentre solutions provider, baby-sitting the hardware and systems of more than 800 blue-chip clients including the largest European banks, corporates and system integrators. The Company is one of the few surviving operators in what was known as the “internet hotel” sector that arose during the bubble in 1999 and as of September 2007, had 14 datacentres in four European countries: the UK, Germany, France and Switzerland.

Milestone – through EAC Fund II – acquired a majority stake in IXEurope in 1999, at which time the Company had one datacentre in operation, in the City of London, backing the still-incumbent management team led by Sir Anthony Cleaver (Non-Executive Chairman), Guy Willner (CEO) and Christophe de Buchet (COO). Since 1999, the Company has significantly increased its size thanks to a strictly controlled pan-European build-up strategy with low financial leverage.

As the lead investor, Milestone helped to raise more than €120m of equity through four rounds of financing between 2000 and 2003. After pulling an IPO float in late 2000, the Company turned EBITDA positive in 2004 and has achieved revenue growth of over 30% per annum during the past 8 years, attracting more than 800
blue-chip customers including leading European and American financial institutions, IT companies and large European corporates. In April 2006, IXEurope successfully listed on AIM at 22p per share representing a market capitalisation of £40m. The share price has increased by more than six times in less than 18 months.

Erick Rinner, Managing Partner at Milestone Capital commented:

“We are delighted to have backed Guy and Christophe during those very exciting years from the boom onwards. Despite a very challenging economic environment, especially in the years from 2000 to 2003, they did ultimately hit the targets they had set out in the initial business plan.”

“This has been a successful story for all parties, and illustrates Milestone Capital’s ability to build strong businesses through all economic cycles. Given that so many investors have lost such substantial sums through investments in this sector over the last 8 years, we are very pleased with the return we have provided for our Fund II investors. Including the exit from IX Europe, Milestone has now made five exits and returned circa €330m to investors since the beginning of the year.”

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