PARTNERSHIPS ACQUISITIONS INVESTMENTS
Last year ended with so much impact on data center, cloud and connectivity business. Although, 2020 has come to a close on a calendar-basis, the year however marks a significant beginning in the trend of data, compute and network business as we see it today.
As we continue to follow, study and harness useful information on data center businesses, we intend to highlight the top deals in 2020 which marks the beginning of the pandemic era.
The year 2020 started with Equinix announcing the completion of the three Axtel data centers acquisition deal in Mexico.
The three data centers serve the Mexico City and Monterrey metro areas of Mexico. It was acquired for a total of $175 million, which expands Equinix’s data center and interconnection services to two new metros.
Also in January 2020, Chinese data center developer and operator GDS Holdings Ltd, signed a definitive legal agreement through its subsidiary to acquire a data center site in Shanghai for ¥1.37 billion (approx. $200 million as at the time of transaction).
The 212,000 square meter site is about 25 kilometers from the GDS’ existing cluster of 11 data centers in the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone. The site is not all greenfield as it has been half developed, and GDS plans to build it into a new data center campus, which will be completed across multiple phases.
In February 2020, Google Cloud completed its acquisition of the California-based data analytics firm Looker. The deal is expected to boost Google’s cloud offering.
This transaction marked the company’s biggest acquisition deal and a major one under its CEO, Tomas Kurian.
Private equity firm Insight Partners, acquired cloud data management firm Veeam at a valuation of approximately $5 billion.
In April, Vantage Data Centers announced its signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Next Generation Data (NGD), a UK-based data center service provider.
Located in the Cardiff Capital region of South Wales, NGD data center campus adds a total of 180MW which includes an existing 72MW facility and 108MW of expansion capacity to Vantage’s portfolio.
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) acquired an 88 percent stake in AirTrunk, a Sydney-based hyperscale data center company.
Macquarie purchased these Airtrunk shares from Goldman Sachs, Sixth Street Partners (formerly TSSP) and the company’s founder Robin Khuda in a deal that values the data center firm at more than AUD 3 billion (USD 1.9 billion).
Also in April, Equinix Inc. signed a joint venture with Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC to develop and operate three data centers in Japan.
The Joint Venture is worth more than $1 billion in cash and assets. GIC is putting-in cash and will own 80 percent of the joint venture’s assets while Equinix is to get 20 percent with the transfer of two facilities which are under construction – TY12 in Tokyo, and OS2 in Osaka – along with land and development rights to build another site in Tokyo.
In May, the Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (ESIF) acquired a majority stake in Lefdal Mine Datacenter located in Norway.
The underground mine facility has been operational since 2017, and boasts of 75 underground halls which are accessible by underground roads. As a green data center, it uses renewable energy to power its operations and cold sea water from an adjacent fjord for cooling.
Pioneer Point Partners (Pioneer) and Davidson Kempner (DK) also entered into partnership with Irish data center company Echelon on an investment program that is worth €1 billion.
The partnership is expected to support Echelon’s data center sites in Ireland. The two hyperscale facilities are set to have a total IT load capacity of 184MW with further pipeline across Europe.
In May, Equinix entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a portfolio of 25 data centers from BCE Inc. (Bell) for US$750 million (CA$1,041 million) in an all-cash transaction.
These data centers are spread across 13 sites within Canada, and the acquisition deal adds the associated operations and over 600 customers operating within the facilities to Equinix’s portfolio.
An investor group led by Colony Capital entered into a definitive agreement with Vantage Data Centers to form a strategic partnership that is worth $3.5 billion.
As part of the agreement, the consortium led by Colony Capital will invest $1.2 billion in Vantage’s portfolio.
As announced, the consortium appears to be acquiring major stakes across Vantage’s 12 stabilized North American data centers, which span more than 1.4 million gross square feet and 150MW of IT capacity across markets in Santa Clara, California; Quincy, Washington; Montreal and Quebec City, Canada.
Real estate investor and manager Cromwell entered into a partnership with Stratus Data Centres to setup up a data center fund that is worth US$1 billion.
The new Stratus Cromwell Data Centre Fund (SCDC Fund) seeks to invest in and manage the rollout of a data center property platform across Europe and Asia Pacific.
Powered by its data center industry experience, Stratus will be responsible for project development, leasing, design and construction, leveraging the network of its parent company EXS. Cromwell will bring in the capital alongside its funds management and real estate investment experience.
To end the third quarter of 2020, Singapore based investment company Mapletree Industrial Trust (MIT) entered into an agreement with an undisclosed vendor to acquire a data center in Virginia, United States.
The acquisition deal which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, will cost MIT between US$200.6 million (approx. S$272.8 million) and US$262.1 million (approx. S$356.5 million).
In October 2020, data center operator Iron Mountain announced the formation of a €300 million joint venture with an affiliate of AGC Equity Partners to develop and manage a Frankfurt data center.
The Frankfurt hyperscale data center is a 280,000 square foot facility that is designed to feature 27MW of power capacity. As announced, this data center has been 100% pre-leased to a U.S.-based customer subject to a 10-year lease agreement.
In November 2020, South Korea companies signed an agreement to build a data center park with a commitment to spend approximately 4 trillion won (approximately $3.6 billion).
The consortium of State-owned companies includes land developer Korea Land & Housing Corp. (LH) and Korea Data Center Council (KDCC), an organization that promotes the local data center industry.
Also in November, hyperscale data center provider Vantage Data Centers announced its acquisition of the hyperscale data center business from Hypertec in Montreal, Canada.
Hypertec, a cloud infrastructure services provider, had a campus in Montreal with a total capacity of 49MW, this includes 25MW across two existing facilities and 24MW of expansion capacity.
The acquired campus is located about two miles from Vantage’s existing 11MW campus in Montreal, and sits on a 10 acre site which is expected to house up to 320,000 square feet of data center facilities once fully developed.
In December 2020, AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) announced its acquisition of a data center facility in Tokyo, Japan for ¥22 billion (approximately $211 million).
Located in Koto Ward, South Tokyo, the 20,000 square meter data center facility is about 7km from the city’s main financial district, Marunouchi and Otemachi. The asset has the capacity to house 2,560 data racks, and considered one of Tokyo’s mega data centers.
This transaction marks the sixth deal AXA IM completed in 2020 within Japan, investing a total of ¥173 billion (approximately $1.66 billion) which include non-data center assets.
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