Singapore’s Ascendas REIT to acquire 11 European data centres for $672m

Located in London, the largest and most mature colocation data centre market in Europe, the two-storey Croydon (pictured) is one of the 11 European data centres that Ascendas Reit is acquiring. Photo: Ascendas Reit

Ascendas Reit, Singapore’s largest listed business space and industrial real estate investment trust, has proposed to acquire a portfolio of data centres in Europe for S$904.6 million ($672 million), marking its debut investment in the European data centre space.

In a statement, Ascendas Reit said it will acquire the portfolio of 11 data centres from subsidiaries of Digital Realty Trust Inc, a New York-listed REIT that invests in carrier-neutral data centres.

The portfolio includes four properties in the UK, three in the Netherlands, three in France, and one in Switzerland. The 11 data centres have a total net lettable area of 61,637 sq m. Six data centres are located on freehold land whilst the remaining five data centres are sited on leasehold land with a weighted average land lease to expiry of 42.9 years.

If the deal pushes through, Ascendas will raise its global portfolio to 212 properties worth S$15 billion. Ascendas Reit currently owns 96 properties in Singapore, 37 in Australia, 30 in the US, and 38 in the UK / Europe.

The REIT’s portfolio includes business and science parks, office and industrial properties, logistics and distribution centres, and integrated developments.

“This acquisition gives us a unique opportunity to own a portfolio of well-occupied data centres located across key markets in Europe,” William Tay, executive director and CEO of Ascendas Funds Management, the manager of Ascendas REIT.

The proposed acquisition will enlarge Ascendas REIT’s exposure to the resilient data centre asset class. According to the company, demand for data centres is expected to grow due to increasing reliance on data and online applications as we as accelerating digitisation across industries.

According to CBRE, take-up of colocation data centres outstripped new supply in 2020 across the Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, and Paris (FLAP) market as more companies embark on their digital transformation plans.

“We see good potential in the data centre business and will continue to source and make further acquisitions when the opportunities arise,” Tay added.

The total acquisition cost of S$960.0 million, will be financed with proceeds from the equity fundraising announced on 10 November 2020, debt financing and/or internal cash resources.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.