It's official. When New Year's Day rolls around, Equinix will be a REIT. The company's board of directors voted on the subject yesterday before heading home for Christmas, unanimously approving the conversion it began working on a couple years ago.
Equinix is still waiting for that private letter ruling from the IRS, but they're moving ahead anyway. After all, so many of the other data center operators have managed the conversion that it certainly doesn't seem likely they won't get it. And thus a new REIT will be born in just over a week.
Whether that will change much more than the company's tax returns and reportable metrics (get ready for Funds From Operations), is another matter. Equinix has a more diverse set of revenue sources than most of the other data center REITs it competes with, and thus it has a wider variety of places to spend its cash flow -- more of which will now be distributed to shareholders from here on out.
Meanwhile, the front lines of the REIT war have moved on this year into the world of fiber and copper. Windstream's bold plunge into the deep end with its planned spinoff of a network REIT will be even more carefully watched than Equinix's deliberations.
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