NTT finds partner to accelerate data center construction • The Register

Japanese giant NTT has found a friend to fund the planned expansion of its data center fleet.

That partner is Australian Macquarie Asset Management, a company that already has $545.7 billion in assets under management.

Under the new deal, Macquarie will spend approximately $800 million to gain a majority position in the companies that own NTT’s data centers in North America and Europe. NTT retains interests of between 25 and 49 percent in those entities.

Macquarie is getting assets it expects to make a profit, while NTT is getting a cash injection to fund its data center expansion plan. That plan calls on NTT to build 13 new data centers across Europe and expand others over the next two years. A facility to open in Phoenix, Arizona this year will be its seventh in the US on a campus that starts with 36 MW of capacity, but is already designed to handle 240 MW of kit.

NTT is also expanding its data center footprint in Asia, opening its first facility in Indonesia last week, where a 15.2 MW facility is slated to scale up to 45 MW.

The Japanese company’s data center offering is similar to that of Equinix and Digital Realty: it builds facilities with suitably diverse and resilient energy and connectivity services, then rents racks to anyone. That model makes acquiring real estate important, but construction costs are modest compared to the kind of funds needed to fill a data center with computer equipment.

But the company still needs a lot of money, and the deal with Macquarie will help with that. The Australian firm also has extensive wealth management expertise, which may reduce NTT’s administrative burden.

NTT currently ranks third behind Equinix and Global Realty in data center capacity holdings. However, demand is rising and this deal will help NTT get its fair share. The deal is not unusual as NTT has already found similar partners to handle the real estate side of its business in some parts of Asia.

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