The Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (ESIF) has 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.

“We are excited to announce this new investment of ESIF, our open-ended, evergreen fund that invests in European mid-market equity assets. Lefdal Mine Datacenter is an attractive asset for ESIF due to its strong market fundamentals, competitive positioning and the level of sustainability within its operations,” said Heiko Schupp, Global Head of Infrastructure at Columbia Threadneedle Investments.

“With its potential to build out data capacity, we believe the company is well positioned to participate in the growth of demand for data, and the potential for capital growth makes the company a good fit for ESIF’s investment strategy.

We look forward to a successful working relationship with the management team at Lefdal Mine Datacenter and our partners, and to participating in the center’s next stage of expansion.”

With the existing space and core resource availability such as energy and cooling agent, the facility is envisioned to expand into a world leading data center. The facility currently offers 10MW of IT capacity and has the potential to expand to 200MW.

“With ESIF coming in as a shareholder together with Rittal, the stage has been set for building out and operating large customer requirements. At Lefdal Mine, customers do not have to worry about limitations in future capacity due to the size of our facility and access to high quantities of renewable power and cooling,” said Jørn Skaane, CEO of Lefdal Mining Datacenter.

Columbia Threadneedle ESIF acquired the majority stake from a consortium of local shareholders in a transaction. Rittal, a subsidiary of the German industrial family business Friedhelm Loh Group, will remain a minority shareholder.