Major submarine cable operator raises R3.2 billion — to fund Durban data center

WIOCC Holding Company Limited has raised $200 million in debt and equity that will be used to expand its connectivity within Africa and internationally.

Through Open Access Data Centers (OADC), a newly formed venture of the WIOCC Group, it plans to launch a network of pan-African data centers that will meet the needs of the cloud provider and wholesale community.

Strategic investments in the new Equiano and 2Africa international submarine systems will augment and complement WIOCC’s existing core network infrastructure.

WIOCC said the investments in the Google and Meta-backed cable systems will cost-effectively add multiple Terabits per second of capacity and significantly expand the capabilities of delivering high-availability solutions in demand in markets across Africa.

WIOCC’s terrestrial strategy, which includes deployment of metro and national networks in key locations, will expand to new countries and metropolitan areas, expanding its portfolio of end-to-end solutions for customers across Africa.

Part of the capital increase will be used to finance OADC.

Phase one sites will house key submarine cable landings in Lagos, Durban and Mogadishu, supporting the drive to land international submarine capacity directly in carrier-neutral data centers.

Construction and furnishing is underway in Lagos and Durban, and both are set to start in early 2022.

The Mogadishu data center will be ready before the end of 2022, according to WIOCC.

Further implementation phases will deliver more than twenty new data centers in strategic locations across the continent, with a focus on major connectivity hubs in each country.

WIOCC raised equity capital from CAPE IV, a fund managed by the leading African-focused private equity fund manager, African Capital Alliance (ACA).

WIOCC’s debt facility was provided by the International Finance Corporation, Proparco and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund managed by Ninety One (formerly Investec Asset Management). Verdant Capital acted as financial advisor to WIOCC for the capital increase.

“We are pleased to complete this phase of our capital raising, which will enable a very significant expansion of our hyperscale infrastructure by investing in new high-capacity subsea systems and a terrestrial network,” said WIOCC CEO Chris Wood.

“The inbound investment and partnership with ACA will help us empower businesses and consumers in Africa to take advantage of the digital economy and migration to cloud-based services.”

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