Singapore’s GIC partners Equinix to acquire, develop data centres in Europe

Photo: Bloomberg

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC is acquiring and developing six hyperscale data centres in Europe for more than $1 billion through its 80:20 joint venture with global data centre firm Equinix.

In a statement, GIC said, it has agreed to form a joint venture with Equinix for the purpose of acquiring two operational data centres in London and Paris and developing four data centres in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and London.

The two operational data centres in London and Paris together deliver approximately 31 MW of critical power to customers. The four data centres that the JV plans to develop will provide 124 MW of power capacity for a total of 155 MW.

Under the agreement, Equinix will develop, operate, and manage the data centres, which will serve global cloud technology giants such as Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon Web Services, and Alibaba Cloud.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

The deal completes a lengthy search for a JV partner to finance the Equinix hyperscale program, targeting the Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, and Paris markets that have emerged as hubs for data centre deployment in Europe.

“It has been a long journey to reach this point but we are tremendously excited to announce the formation of our first xScale data centers joint venture,” said Equinix president and CEO Charles Meyers.

He added that the JV structure will enable Equinix to extend its cloud leadership while providing significant value to a critical set of “hyperscale customers”.

It was in 2015 when Equinix expanded its third International Business Exchange data centre in Singapore, known as SG3. It has also opened five new data centres across four continents, with locations in New York, Singapore, Melbourne, London, and Toronto.

The expansion of its global footprint is a result of rising demand for data infrastructure, with more cross-border collaboration among businesses collaborating across a range of platforms.

GIC Real Estate chief investment office Lee Kok Sun expressed confidence that the strong growth in data consumption and public cloud data storage will continue to drive secular demand for hyperscale data centres.

“We believe the venture portfolio, which is well located in the primary European data center hubs and under the management of an established partner such as Equinix, will generate steady and resilient returns in the long run,” Lee said.

According to a study conducted by industry intelligence firm Synergy Research Group, by the end of 2017, nearly 400 hyper data centres were in operation, with only 24 companies responsible for building and maintaining these centres.

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.

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.