Equinix Adjusting to Life as a REIT

Steve Smith, president and CEO of Equinix, Inc. (NASDAQ: EQIX), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview during REITWeek 2015: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York.

Equinix, which owns data centers around the world, became a REIT at the start of 2015 after waiting 31 months to receive a favorable private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service to allow for the conversion. Smith described some of the biggest changes for the company, including the transformation of its investor base.

“We’re switching from 16 years as a company that has predominantly had tech investors to now becoming a REIT where we’ll have a hybrid of REIT and tech investors,” he said. “I think it will be a unique story.”

Regarding the company’s growth, Smith said cloud computing is ramping up demand for Equinix’s services. Equinix’s 6,400 customers “are all trying to figure out how to go take advantage of this new paradigm shift,” he said. Likewise, mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are generating demand for data center space, according to Smith.

“All these things that we read about and we hear about, these big technology trends, we tend to play at the intersection of all these trends,” he observed.

Roughly 45 percent of Equinix’s operations are located outside of the Americas region, which includes the United States, Brazil and Canada, and account for its strongest areas of growth. Smith commented that nearly 70 percent of the company’s revenue comes from customers deployed in multiple regions.

Equinix has a “very global, very diverse customer base all over the planet,” he said.