BRITISH L&G IS INTERESTED
Next Generation Data (NGD) has been put up for sale; a 750,000 square feet data center facility in Newport, South Wales, valued around £200 million ($244m).
NGD is currently owned by French investment firm InfraVia and has attracted Britain’s first £1 trillion fund manager Legal and General (L&G) to the sales deal.
Smart City projects are recent focal points for L&G and upon confirmation, this will be another step into such investments, after acquiring a 50% stake in Kao, a £230 million data center in Harlow.
“With a focus on creating thriving cities, Legal & General looks to make investments that are focused on creating sustainable communities with good employment opportunities, high quality and varied housing in a digitally-connected and clean environment,” said Kerrigan Procter, CEO of L&G, when announcing the Kao investment.
“We believe that data centers are an integral part of a city’s digital transformation, enabling connections to a broader digital infrastructure and offering synergies across our wider Future Cities investment strategy.”
The NGD facility was originally built as an electronics factory. It started as a government initiative with the Korean electronics company LG to boost the local economy. Unfortunately, the facility which was later referred to as a “white elephant” never opened, after both parties had invested a total of £133 million ($162m).
The property was later sold out to NGD which it opened as a data center in 2010. Subsequently, the facility became an asset of InfraVia in 2016, through a £100 million NGD acquisition deal. The site still enjoys sourcing its power from the giant Welsh Dynorwig hydroelectric plant.
This Newport facility also provides out-of-town data center space for some of the world’s tech giants, including BT and IBM. Recently, Oracle also announced a cloud region based in Newport which is presumably based in the NGD facility.