BEIJING, June 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 21Vianet Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:VNET) ("21Vianet" or the "Company"), the largest carrier-neutral Internet data center services provider in China, today announced that the Company and its affiliate have entered into definitive agreements to invest in Sichuan Aipu Network Co., Ltd. and its affiliates (collectively, the "Aipu Group"). Headquartered in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, the Aipu Group is one of the largest regional internet service providers with operations in 11 cities across China and primarily engages in providing last-mile wired broadband access and other value-added services to internet users. Through this investment, 21Vianet is able to significantly expand the reach of its data transmission network into regional last-mile access networks, further strengthening its position as a leading integrated internet infrastructure services provider in China. Mr. Frank Meng, President of 21Vianet, stated, "We are extremely excited about the investment in the Aipu Group. The extension into selected regional last-mile access networks highlights an important component of our long term vision to create an open and seamless network ecosystem. As China's internet economy becomes increasingly content and cloud centric, we believe the expanded network footprint will not only enable us to better serve our customers, but also allow us to capture additional growth opportunities. Over time, we are confident that a more comprehensive and broadly integrated network will also provide attractive cost saving opportunities in bandwidth and other areas of our cost structure." Based on the agreement, 21Vianet will own, both directly and indirectly, an approximately 50% ownership interest in the Aipu Group and become its single largest shareholder. The amount of 21Vianet's cash investment is not disclosed. Other shareholders of the Aipu Group will have the option to sell their remaining interests in the Aipu Group to 21Vianet based on certain performance-based metrics over the next three years.