Building a global business
Helping Equinix simultaneously manage a major acquisition and divestiture to more than double its European market presence
In 2015, Equinix, the leading data centre and connectivity provider in the world, made the largest and most complex acquisition in its history, purchasing over 40 data centres in 11 countries. In approving the deal, the European Competition Commission required that Equinix divest a number of data centres from its combined portfolio across Europe.
Equinix asked Deloitte to engage on both the integration and divestiture sides of the project. Over 12 months, Deloitte provided a multi-national advisory and delivery team and also led the critical change, communications and learning activities on both sides of the programme across all countries.
Bringing together 2,000 people across 11 countries
Deloitte designed and set up the integration programme with Communications, Change and Learning activities at its heart, and feeding across the full range of functional work streams.
At the outset, Deloitte delivered a two-day integration workshop with 150 attendees from Equinix and Telecity; and designed and set up the EMEA-wide integration management office, which formed the backbone of the integration.
Deloitte’s hands-on delivery approach with the Equinix and Telecity teams in key functions including programme management, HR and operations was central to the project’s success, and throughout, the Deloitte team drew on the latest thinking in application testing strategies and change management to drive quality and accelerate delivery.
Creating a standalone business in 3 countries in 6 months
Deloitte structured the delivery approach for the divestiture with a clear methodology, plan and a strong focus on pace. The first step was to develop the ‘separation blueprint’ to identify the impacts on the new organisation and develop a detailed plan. This was completed in record time and the Deloitte team began executing the changes and tackling over 1,300 planned actions.
Deloitte designed and set up the overall project governance and stakeholder structure, involving over 100 people from Deloitte, Equinix, Telecity and the new company, in multiple locations across four countries. It also created a central Project Management Office to drive the delivery and managed a range of tailored communications to the 131 new employees, 650 customers and 800 suppliers, in the UK, Netherlands and Germany.
Across three continents, four time zones and significant cultural differences, Deloitte and Equinix formed a strong team that delivered outstanding results across both aspects of the programme within very short timeframes.
The integration of the corporate functions and Dutch country operations were delivered within six months of deal close, with integration of the UK delivered three months later. Meanwhile, the divestment was delivered in six months from the close of the sale, facilitating the sale of the separated business for approximately $874m.
Overall, the programme has achieved a major strategic objective for Equinix in more than doubling its European market presence to 11 countries.